Community Engagement

ACT NoWaste Green Bin Pilot Program

Green Bin Pilot Program

 

In 2017, EnviroCom established an environmental education and projects officer position in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to support the roll-out of the Green Bin Pilot Program (green waste service). The green waste service is provided by CorkHill Bros. and JJ Richards & Sons on behalf of the ACT Government. The initial pilot program was aimed at households in Chapman, Duffy, Fisher, Holder, Rivett, Stirling, Waramanga, Weston and Kambah only, with expansion planned for 2018.

 

This greenwaste contract is the first of its kind in the ACT and has been met with growing interest since its establishment. EnviroCom’s role as the educator includes the recruitment of new participants in the opt-in collection, promotion of correct use of the service to minimise contamination and monitoring of current use and contamination.

 

The pilot has resulted in very low rates of contamination (<1%) in the green waste collected. These low rates of contamination are supported by a range of communication and marketing program elements including regular bin inspections, community consultation events, public place displays and other education opportunities at the request of community members.

BinInspect_ACT

Hawkesbury Show Public Place Recycling Program 23/4/2016

EnviroCom Australia, in conjunction with the Hawkesbury District Agriculture Association and Hawkesbury City Council, designed and delivered a public place recycling program for the 2016 Hawkesbury Show, one of the largest rural shows in NSW.

The program was developed to improve waste outcomes at the show, with a particular focus on reducing recycling contamination rates. Prior to the event, EnviroCom liaised with vendors and show organisers to provide strategic recommendations on waste management logistics for show. During the event, a range of initiatives were implemented to better understand public waste disposal behaviours at the show and to educate visitors on best waste disposal practices. ‘Recycling Rovers’ conducted visual bin audits to determine common contaminants and contamination ‘hot spots’. The Rovers engaged with visitors to the Show, assisting them to use the correct bins and providing instant win prizes for patron seen to be recycling right. . Other public education activities such as recycling trivia were conducted at the Council tent.

The program provided Council with valuable data into patron and vendor behaviours and recommendations to further improve waste management practices at future events through improved logistical planning and further public engagement strategies.

Orange Waste Diary 12/1/2016

Is a fortnightly waste collection service feasible? Can it be done? What do residents think?

Those were just some of the questions posed by a Orange City Council in 2015. So, in partnership with Council, EnvrioCom set about finding out – through the ‘Fortnightly Waste Collection Trial’ program.

A pilot study was designed and undertaken with around 140 residents volunteering to complete an online weekly ‘Waste Diary’; with a further 20 selected to be ‘audited’ twice during the 12-week trial period. This involved hand sorting the contents of residents’ bins right in front of their eyes!

Supported by educational materials and direct discussion with our consultants, the trial was a success, with the conclusion that the majority of residents could comfortably function on a fortnightly waste collection – with little or no change to current behaviours or practices.

The data gathered was then collated into a final, detailed report which Council can now utilise as they consider whether to go ahead with the implementation of a fortnightly waste collection service.

Organics Education Resource Development

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EnvrioCom has developed an attractive and informative new set of organic waste education resources for South Burnett Regional Council.

 

These resources focus on composting and worm farming and are used to complement community workshops or in a public place display.

 

The full complement includes a Pull-up banner, a Fold out display board and a life model of for each worm farming and composting.

 

‘Train the Trainer’ Composting and Worm Farming Workshop

EnviroCom delivers the annual Waste Education Strategy on behalf of Southern Downs Regional Council and has been facilitating free community workshops on behalf of Council for several years.

The ‘Train the Trainer’ Composting and Worm Farming Workshop was specifically tailored to people that had previously participated in a Council run community composting and worm farming workshop, who are actively composting and/or worm farming, and who are passionate about its environmental benefits.  The workshop, facilitated by a professional environmental educator from EnviroCom, provided participants with all the skills, knowledge and resources to be able to independently deliver composting and/ or worm farming information sessions to friends, family and other residents within the local area, through existing networks, community groups and beyond.

By educating and upskilling engaged members of local communities, the ‘Train the Trainer’ style workshops aim to tap into the knowledge and skills of these local ‘environmental champions’ to help spread key sustainability messages to a broader section of the community.

Recycle Now Kensington

Following on from the success of the MWRRG grant-funded project Recycle Now! The City of Melbourne and EnviroCom delivered a recycling program for the Kensington estate. The Kensington Estate includes a mix of private and public housing dwellings, managed by Urban Communities on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services.

New recycling bins and signage were installed at three high rise towers at the estate, with the aim of increasing recycling and encouraging residents to use the new infrastructure, instead of throwing their recycling into the garbage chute. Residents also received resources to assist them in carrying their recycling to the new bins.

Recycle Now Kensington engaged over 500 residents of the Kensington Estate community through foyer stalls, community presentations, incursions at the local primary school and attendance at a community festival.

The key to success of this Recycle Now program was the collaboration between different stakeholders, which ensured that a variety of residents were reached; from families with young children, CALD groups and elderly residents. This was achieved through attendance at different community events and group meetings and by selecting the appropriate time of day to reach the maximum number of residents for each building.

­­­­­Recycle Now!

Client: Melbourne City Council

Recycle Now! – an exciting, MMWG grant-funded project targeting the installation of a brand new recycling service to three large government housing developments in Carlton and North Melbourne.

The residential tower blocks were built in the 1960’s – long before anyone was seriously recycling domestic waste products.   These tower blocks were built with internal ‘garbage chutes’ feeding huge510.2 skip bins at first floor level; everything and anything was being taken to landfill!

Melbourne City Council and EnviroCom have worked with these three developments which now have recycling bins installed in their foyers and an engaged and inspired community filling the bins with beautiful clean recycling!

The key to the success of this program was recognition that installing the bins alone would not be enough to deliver real diversion results.   In April 2015, EnviroCom embarked on a program of ‘champion’ recruitment, aimed at marshalling volunteers for the local (mainly migrant) community to become the champions of the soon-to-be-delivered recycling bins.   These volunteers, after attending a series of workshops, then door knocked every apartment on every floor, introducing the new system and providing residents with information on how to use it.

A series of school incursions, tours to the recycling plant and a celebration party then followed.   This successful program will hopefully provide a blueprint for the delivery of successful recycling programs in other similar housing developments.

Understanding Waste Disposal in Multi-Unit Dwellings

Client: City of Logan

Between October 2014 and June 2015, EnviroCom Australia undertook a pilot program to assess and improve recycling practices in Multi-Unit Dwellings within Logan City, Queensland.

This study was the first of its kind for Logan City, its aim being to better understand the performance and behaviour of residents accessing shared waste services within Multi-Unit developments.

This project effectively mapped the change in residents’ disposal behaviours, through time in response to targeted education programs aimed at reducing recycling contamination and resource loss.

As the construction of high density developments continues to rapidly increase nationwide, studies such as this can provide Councils and businesses with valuable insights into the system performance, role of education and policy as well as planning requirements for these shared residential waste service arrangements.

Holding an event? Want to avoid garbage, maximise recycling and reduce litter?

EnviroCom recently produced a tailored Waste Management Plan (WMP) for a Melbourne Metropolitan Council outdoor event.  Although experienced in developing WMPs for schools, offices and property developments, taking this knowledge into the event arena was a new challenge.

To ensure the best possible outcomes, the WMP drew from years of practical experience at similar events (where EnviroCom regularly provides bin monitoring, vendor audits and public engagement and education); as well as researching best practice in Victoria and interstate.

The WMP covered a number of key areas to assist in addressing Council’s waste goals for the event – which were:

–          Minimise waste left behind

–          Maximise recycling / minimum contamination

–          Minimise littering

The WMP covered strategic waste management planning, including contractor and stallholder engagement, bin placement, messaging and signage.   The plan encompassed the three stages of the event cycle, with EnviroCom assisting Council at all stages of the event from initial planning and preparation, through vendor engagement, during the event and immediately after.  All outcomes of the plan were reported to Council including potential improvements for future events.

EnviroCom can review your upcoming Council event and deliver a tailored WMP to suit the specific event and waste minimisation goals.

EnviroCom goes Festival Happy in Melbourne

Clients: Various Melbourne Councils

As 2014 draws to a close we reflect on EnviroCom’s festival participation in Melbourne.  In partnership with a number of Metropolitan Melbourne Councils, we have been the face of Council at numerous community events, including:

  • Fawkner Festival
  • Maroondah Festival and Maroondah Children’s Week Festival
  • Dandenong Show
  • Spring into Gardening Festival
  • Prahran Market
  • Bayside Christmas Carols
  • ‘Fixit!’ And ‘Plarn’ upcycling workshops

Each event requires ongoing support from EnviroCom at all stages e.g. planning/preparation, set-up, attendance, public engagement, waste management and reporting. As each event differs in nature and is run by different councils, the type and level of engagement also differs. This year, our engagement with residents and community involved education about hard waste; household waste and recycling practices; composting; upcycling and waste minimisation. Many events had interactive activities for children and adults alike – ‘Race to Recycling’; children’s art stations; ‘Which Bin Does It Go In’; ‘Hard Waste Tetris’ and general question and answer sessions.

EnviroCom staffing at community events and festivals allows the opportunity for wider interaction with residents of all ages, demographics and knowledge levels. They are also a great space for residents to approach Council with questions about waste, recycling and composting. Festival and Event stalls encourage residents to take information and resources home, with the hope of improved practices following education and reinforcement received at the event.

EnviroCom can assist with effective community engagement and education. We look forward to participating in community festivals, events and workshops across Melbourne again in 2015!