Community Workshops

ACT green waste service going from strength to strength

green bin side view

In April 2017, the ACT Government launched a brand new green waste service for the areas of Weston Creek and Kambah. Due to the initial success of the service the area of Tuggeranong was added into the service area in January 2018. The service operated on an opt-in basis where residents pay a one off $50 cost recovery fee. The uptake of the service was tremendously popular with 63% of residents opting-in for a green waste bin since the service commenced. EnviroCom has been responsible for marketing the new service and providing education to residents about how to use their new bin. To date, nearly 16,000 bins have been inspected by EnviroCom staff over the past two years with 92.5% of the bins being free of contamination. From April 2017 – April 2019 the service collected 8543 tonnes of green waste, which also includes the addition of the Belconnen area to the service in September 2018.

As of 1st April 2019, the green waste service is now available across all of the ACT. The service remains optional with the one off $50 fee. EnviroCom will provide three full time staff moving forward to ensure the ongoing success of this green waste service by continuing bin inspections, running facility tours, staffing pop up displays and designing education materials.  Targeted community education and engagement will assist ACT residents to use their green waste bin correctly helping to divert a valuable resource away from landfill. The collected garden waste will be turned into mulch products which can be purchased by residents at a discounted rate.

 

EnviroCom Australia at the NSW Premier’s Awards

Staff from EnviroCom NSW attended the 2018 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Service, having been nominated for their collaborative work with Orange City Council in the “Keeping Our Environment Clean” category.

The Orange City Council Waste Diversion Education Strategy 2016-2021 was recognised for its holistic and long-term approach to maximising waste diversion and supporting sustainable waste and resource behaviours through education and engagement. The Strategy aims to assist the Orange LGA to meet or exceed several of the targets set in the NSW EPA’s Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2014-21, including increasing the waste diverted from landfill to 75%.

The awards night was held at Sydney Town Hall on November 7th 2018 and was attended by EnviroCom’s Regional Manager, Donald Munro and Orange-based consultant Chris Dart, alongside Wayne Davis from Orange City Council. The Strategy was initially developed by EnviroCom General Manager Paula Harrison and overseen by Rachel McIntyre.  While the team were not the overall winners of the Premier’s Awards on the night, the nomination was acknowledgement of the team’s strategic approach to achieving long term waste diversion in the Orange City Council region.

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‘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!

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.

Rethinking Waste at Home – Community Workshop

Client: Logan City Council

EnviroCom has been involved in the planning and delivery of community education and engagement programs on behalf of Logan City Council for over a decade. Every year, EnviroCom facilitates a series of popular weekend workshops that offer participants the skills and knowledge to reduce waste through home composting, worm farming or correct recycling.

In early 2014, EnviroCom designed and trialled a new workshop with the aim of challenging the way people view waste generation throughout their homes. The ‘Rethinking Waste at Home’ workshop highlights the common, but often subconscious, waste generation habits that result from every day events such as grocery shopping, gardening, food preparation and social situations. With reference to the steps of the waste hierarchy; avoidance, reduction, and reuse; participants are encouraged to identify potentially wasteful behaviours and explore the possible alternatives that are readily available.

The Rethinking Waste at Home Workshop encourages participants to make simple, but conscious decisions everyday that can significantly reduce a household’s waste footprint.

WasteLess Household Challenge

Client:
Maroondah City Council, Environment & Sustainability Dept.
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EnviroCom, in collaboration with Maroondah City Council and Transition Towns Maroondah developed an innovative community waste reduction workshop series pilot program called WasteLess Household Challenge.

The program involved EnviroCom co-facilitating a series of three workshops and developing educational materials which focused on reducing waste and recycling right. Participants completed a home waste audit at the beginning of the program and were able to use this information to set personal targets for waste reduction. The workshops gave participants an opportunity to analyse audit data, ask questions, learn about what happens to hard waste, comingled recycling and landfill waste in Maroondah, and explore ways to avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle their household waste. After a month participants then re-audited their household waste and were able to discuss the processes used to achieve waste reduction targets. The program was highly successful with all households achieving their waste reduction targets.

Zero Waste Challenge

During the month of June 2012, EnviroCom and the Moreland City Council collaborated to deliver The Zero Waste for a Week Challenge, as part of the Polytrade Waste Education Strategy.
92 households from the Moreland area participated, accepting the zero waste challenge to for one week by using only compost and recycling bins as means of waste disposal. If successful, a participant would have no need to put their rubbish bin out for the designated week. To help with the challenge, the first 50 residents to register received a free compost bin and all participants received a waste wise kit. Council also offered MRF tours and composting workshops to Zero Waste participants and members of the community.

While the number of participants was down from the previous year (150 participants), those involved were enthusiastic to succeed in their challenge. 57 participants completed the evaluation survey, indicating an outreach total of 142 when all household members were included. All respondents stated that they had managed to reduce their rubbish during the Challenge and the large majority (92.6%) of respondents declared that they would continue with changes such as using a compost bin/worm farm, choosing items with less or recyclable packaging and using their own shopping bags.

EnviroCom and Moreland City Council are looking forward to the challenge in 2013 which will target residents currently less inclined to think waste-wise, and have a greater focus on overall consumption and consumer habits to hopefully achieve even greater waste reduction!

Think Food – Rethink Waste

Every year, Australian households throw away over 4 million tonnes of food, equivalent to 178 kg per person.  Food waste impacts greatly on the environment in a number of different ways and the increasing levels of food waste currently being generated are not sustainable.

EnviroCom, on behalf of Logan City Council, have developed an education program entitled Think Food – Rethink Waste.  This program is one element of Logan City Council’s popular Watch Out Waste education program.  Think Food – Rethink Waste is designed to change people’s attitude towards food waste by educating students, teachers and the community about the social, economic and environmental impacts of food waste and the simple steps every individual can take to reduce this impact.

The program targets schools and community groups through an interactive, facilitator-led workshop and accompanying PowerPoint presentation.  EnviroCom have also produced a series of complementary resources: a Think Food -Rethink Waste Teachers’ Resource booklet and a Think Food – Rethink Waste factsheet.

The Think Food – Rethink Waste factsheet is available for download from Logan City Council’s website.

Wipe Out Waste Program

EnviroCom coordinated the Gold Coast City Council Wipe Out Waste (WOW) Program since its inception in May 2000 until October 2011. EnviroCom was responsible for program development and delivery to the school sector and facilitation of community events, including waste minimisation skills workshops. The program, delivered using purpose built mobile education facilities, has consistently engaged more than 30,000 students each year since 2003.

Other aspects of the program include:

  • Redevelopment of lessons to incorporate the changing nature of waste management on the Gold Coast (i.e. extraction of methane from landfills; 2020 Vision on Waste strategy)
  • Initiation of the Wipe Out Waste Challenge, engaging schools in practical waste minimisation initiatives
  • Initiation of an annual poster competition and calendar
  • Design and development of the Wipe Out Waste story book series
  • Design and fit out of mobile education facilities

The Wipe Out Waste Program was a finalist in the Banksia Environmental Awards for Leadership in Environmental Communications in 2003.

Koala Education Strategy

A facilitated workshop for teachers and other stakeholders was the mechanism to determine the demand for and preferred content and format of a koala conservation resource for schools in Redland, in the heart of South East Queensland’s Koala Coast. EnviroCom planned and hosted the facilitation and subsequently collated and analysed the data for presentation to Council in written and verbal form.