EnviroCom has conducted the first of the 2020 biannual waste characterisation assessments for Mackay Regional Council.
In February 2020, a team of environmental consultants travelled to Mackay for a week-long comprehensive assessment of the region’s waste. This assessment has been conducted by EnviroCom for the last nine years, allowing for an analysis of the region’s current waste composition results and comparison with historical data.. The data is used by Mackay Regional Council to assess trends and make informed decisions on changes and improvements to waste management services. This gives Council the opportunity to work towards setting realistic waste related targets and goals whilst continuing to address the evolving waste management needs and expectations of the local community. EnviroCom will be returning to Mackay later in the year to undertake further waste characterisation assessments.
EnviroCom waste auditors gear up to complete a waste characterisation assessment for Brisbane City Council.
EnviroCom completes this historical assessment every February and March on behalf of Brisbane City Council. Samples from four different waste streams are segregated by hand over a six week period to determine the overall composition of each waste stream. This provides a comprehensive snapshot of the waste produced within the Brisbane City Council area and highlights opportunities for change, improvement and innovation in relation to service delivery, service options and community engagement and education.
A recent community composting and worm farming workshop in Beenleigh is helping residents divert waste from landfill through organics recycling.
As part of Logan City Council’s ‘Watch Out Waste’ Education Program, EnviroCom recently held a community composting and worm farming workshop at a new community garden in Beenleigh. During the two hour workshop, attendees were provided with the information required to set up, maintain, and troubleshoot compost and worm farm systems. Participants were also introduced to the idea of waste minimisation, and the problems associated with sending organic waste materials to landfill. These community workshops are held throughout the year, and are always well-received by the community.
To help reach ambitious waste minimisation targets, the Port of Brisbane has engaged EnviroCom to conduct professional waste audits and staff training.
As part of their ‘Target Zero’ strategy, the Port of Brisbane intends to send zero waste to landfill by 2030.
To help them achieve this goal, EnviroCom conducted a professional waste audit at three main sites in August to identify waste composition and provide insights into how each site could reduce their waste to landfill. EnviroCom delivered presentations to staff in all departments at each of the sites to help employees better understand their waste, and learn how their specific site can better manage their waste.
2019 is once again proving to be a busy year for EnviroCom as our experienced consultants are called upon to share their expertise and showcase a range of innovative projects at conferences across the country.
In April, EnviroCom was invited by the Melbourne Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) to present at their toolbox workshop on, ‘How to develop and deliver your FOGO Community Behaviour Change program’, which was attended by more than 80 representatives from local Councils.
In May, EnviroCom attended the Waste 2019 Conference at Coffs Harbour and presented a paper entitled Waste Education- Time for a Rethink that acknowledged that while education is undoubtedly a powerful tool for community engagement and community change also questioned whether there is a need to reconsider the approach to waste education in light of recent events within the industry.
In May, EnviroCom also attended the inaugural Cleantech Conference on the Sunshine Coast and delivered a presentation that demonstrated how strategic, timely and targeted education can have a positive influence on community behaviour change, regardless of the industry sector.
In October, EnviroCom will attend the WMRR 2019 WasteQ Regional Waste Management Conference in Toowoomba and will present on a range of projects including: a Beach Litter Project that showcases the powerful role of community engagement in effective litter management and litter source reduction; Let’s Go FOGO- a project that considers how understanding and addressing behaviour change drivers can have a positive impact on diversion rates of food materials into FOGO; and, how targeted bin inspection and educational intervention programs are having a noticeable impact on driving positive waste diversion behaviours at the household level.
In October, EnviroCom will also be attending the Victorian Waste Education Conference in Geelong to present on the processes, challenges and outcomes of developing a FOGO Behaviour Change Implementation Plan and Business Case on behalf of three regional Victorian Councils as well as showcasing the successful ACT Green Waste Service as an example of how targeted and strategic community education and engagement has resulted in high rates of community participation, negligible contamination and high customer satisfaction.
And, not forgetting, that back in February EnviroCom was voted number 1 outright for ‘Education, Training and Community’ in the Inside Waste Consultants survey as voted by our clients and customers.
The Sunshine Coast community turned out in record numbers to support Clean Up Australia Day events across the region.
For more than a decade, EnviroCom has proudly coordinated Clean Up Australia Day events for the Sunshine Coast Council and this year was the biggest one ever. The Sunshine Coast had a 10% increase from last year’s volunteer numbers, with 1630 registered volunteers across more than 100 sites.
Over the years, EnviroCom has assisted Council to utilise Clean Up Australia Day to not only raise awareness of littering and its impacts, but to also instil pride in the community to protect their local environment. Community engagement with the event has grown and broadened both geographically and socially. Sites are now located across the entire region, from the beaches to the hinterland and involve early learning centres, schools, businesses and community groups. Many areas of the community work together and support each other for greater outcomes. Schools have been encouraged to register sites outside their school grounds and to engage with community mentors to help develop the citizen scientists of the future. This investment in the community has developed an increasingly engaged community on the Sunshine Coast and now every day, every walk, every pedal and every paddle is a little Clean Up Sunshine Coast Day.
Tim Silverwood is coming to the Sunshine Coast to help inspire more people to take on the Plastic Free July challenge.
Sunshine Coast Council has engaged EnviroCom to coordinate several events with Tim Silverwood, co-founder of Take 3 Clean Beach Initiative over July. Over the past 12 months, EnviroCom has been delivering a marine debris trial on behalf of the Sunshine Coast Council. The purpose of the trial was to engage the community in a number of beach rubbish clean-up activities focusing on non-bathing reserves. The report highlighted the high level of engagement and beach clean-up activity by the Sunshine Coast community. There was 131 beach clean-up activities recorded in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) database.
To introduce the next stage of Council’s marine debris project and to promote Plastic Free July, EnviroCom is coordinating several events for Council including a community screening of the documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean’ with a Q&A opportunity with Tim Silverwood and a panel of local experts. There will also be a screening for schools where students can participate in a workshop with Tim to discuss their ideas regarding the issue of marine debris.
For more information on the documentary A Plastic Ocean please visit https://www.plasticoceans.org/film/ and for more information on the development of sustainability education and behaviour change programs for your community, organisation or region, please contact EnviroCom.
EnviroCom would like to congratulate Moreton Bay Regional Council on their success in the 2016 Premier’s Sustainability Awards.
Since 2005, EnviroCom has worked closely with Moreton Bay Regional Council to develop and deliver a range of initiatives under the Waste Education and Engagement Strategy. Over this eleven year period, a number of highly innovative and effective waste education elements have been developed to deliver community behaviour change in relation to waste generation, disposal, recovery and management. EnviroCom is very proud of the role we have played in assisting Moreton Bay Regional Council to deliver these outcomes and congratulates Moreton Bay Regional Council on their success as winners of the 2016 Premier’s Sustainability Award – Community Award.
For more information on these awards please see https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/premiersawards/2016-finalists-winners.html#community_award and for more information on the development of waste education and behaviour change programs for your community, organisation or region, please contact EnviroCom.
On the 23 August EnviroCom (in association with WMAA) delivered waste audit training and received strong support and feedback from participants.
A diverse range of participants from QLD, NSW and SA attended the first WMAA “Improving Outcomes from Waste Audit Workshop” in Brisbane and reported that the training was informative, enjoyable and successful. EnviroCom would like to thank the attendees for their enthusiastic participation and thoughtful contributions to the workshop as well as the Waste Management Association of Australia for their support in offering the workshop. Keep an eye on the WMAA events for future workshops on this topic.
Results from a follow up survey show how the Early Years Learning (EYL) Resource Kits, developed by EnviroCom, are assisting Early Learning Centres to review and improve their waste management practices.
Results from the follow-up survey, distributed to ELCs six months after receiving a copy of the EYL Resource Kits, show that 95% of survey respondents agreed that the tools and resources in the EYL Resource Kits have enabled their centres to review and improve waste management practices over the last 6 months. As an example, 20% of centres that engaged with tools in the EYL Resource kits decreased the number of general waste bins or general waste services, 15% started a new commingled recycling service and 35% increased the number of commingled recycling bins.
Survey responses also showed that the EYL Resource Kits assisted centre staff with their understanding, confidence and capacity to deliver effective waste education. 80% of respondents noticed a change in the children’s behaviour in relation to their understanding and awareness of waste generation and waste disposal.
All survey respondents agreed that the EYL Resource Kit assisted their centre to meet the Early Years Learning Framework sustainability education and assessment goals and objectives.
The Survey results prove that the suite of education tools included in the EYL Resource Kits allows early years educators to identify opportunities for waste reduction across the Centre, whilst at the same time delivering relevant and engaging educational experiences to the children in their care.