ACT green waste service going from strength to strength
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.
Organics Education Resource Development
- South Burnett Regional Council
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.
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 huge 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.
Western Downs Regional Council Early Learning Years Outreach and Professional Development Workshop
Client: Western Downs Regional Council
In February 2015, EnviroCom Australia coordinated and delivered the second round of Early Learning Years Waste Education presentations on behalf of Western Downs Regional Council. Twelve of the region’s Early Learning Centres (ELCs) engaged in the free waste education program covering presentations on waste and recycling, composting and worm farming, and litter. These presentations supported the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia as well as assisting centres in meeting and/or exceeding aspects of their National Quality Standards. Feedback received from centre staff who participated in the program indicated that the children and staff now have more motivation and knowledge to reduce waste and recycle correctly.
In addition to the presentations, EnviroCom staff also facilitated, for the first time, a Professional Development Sustainability Workshop for Early Years Educators. 24 staff members attended the evening workshop. The workshop provided the participants with education and training to encourage waste management and minimisation practices within their centres. All Centres that attended the PD workshop were provided with a free copy of EnviroCom’s Early Years Learning Resource Kit. The Early Years Learning Resource Kit provides ELCs with separate, but integrated, education tools and resources allowing them to independently identify opportunities to minimise waste as part of centre operations, while at the same time delivering complementary, engaging and relevant education to the children in their care. Feedback received from the workshop participants suggested the PD workshop was very informative and the Early Years Learning Resource Kit provided staff with the tools and ideas to improve their current waste management practices.
Early Learning Years Environmental Education Resource Kit
To complement the release of The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, ‘Belonging, Being and Becoming’, EnviroCom has developed an Early Learning Years Environmental Education Resource Kit. This kit primarily addresses waste management and provides Early Learning Centres and Kindergartens with the means to independently assess and improve their current waste management practices through provision of a waste calculator tool.
The kit also incudes resources for children, including two interactive picture story books: ‘Tom, Sam and Kate Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and ‘Tom, Sam and Kate’s Backyard Adventure’. The books include complementary follow-on activities, as well as extension activities for facilitation by group leaders encouraging open-ended play experiences and opportunities for intentional teaching. The kit also includes reinforcing tools such as posters.
To assist uptake of the Kit, EnviroCom’s trained facilitators can run PD sessions for Centre staff to train them in how to effectively use the Kit and get the most out of it. Contact EnviroCom today to find out more!
Recipe cards to help reduce food waste
- Logan City Council
Australians spend $158 billion on food every year and throw as much as 20% of that away. EnviroCom worked in partnerships with Logan City Council in inviting local food sector businesses and other community stakeholders to collaborate on a community project to target ways to reduce food waste through the development of a series of recipe cards.
The recipe cards aimed to provide the community with simple and effective ideas of how to transform common leftovers and pantry staples into delicious meal ideas and how to safely turn food items just past their ‘Best Before’ dates into nutritious dishes.
In addition, the recipe cards also provided tips and tricks on food purchases; storage, and preparation ideas to help reduce food waste as well as information on how reducing food waste can save money and benefit the environment.
Ascott Gardens Retirement Village
As part of its Business Waste Reduction Program, NetWaste engaged EnviroCom to collaborate with the 28-Council wide network of Councils in order to devise a comprehensive program that engaged residents and staff at Ascott Gardens, an assisted living facility for the elderly, to achieve lasting sustainable outcomes. EnviroCom, in partnership with NetWaste’s Environmental Learning Advisor, offered facilitation and educational assistance to Ascott Gardens in order to establish a successful recycling program and achieve waste reduction goals. The program consisted of several components, beginning with survey distributed to staff and residents, designed to gauge the level of understanding and awareness around waste and recycling issues, as well as to obtain insight into the barriers for correct recycling behaviours.
A visual inspection was conducted to take examine current practices. Several meetings were conducted to provide stakeholders with outcomes of the initial project phases. Cleaning staff were consulted directly for their feedback, as their participation and ownership of the program was considered imperative to its success. Information seminars were delivered to staff members and residents in separate sessions to provide guidance on specific waste and recycling issues; these were complemented by educational resources including a 12-page booklet targeting staff, newsletter inserts for residents, and a range of pictorial signage for display throughout the facility. The program was successful in achieving a number of positive outcomes, including a reduced frequency of waste collection. The newfound awareness of staff and residents has been credited with inspiring a wider range of other environmentally conscious behaviours within as well as external to the facility.
Bioregion Education Module Development and Pilot Study
- Moreton Bay Regional Council
In 2011, Moreton Bay Regional Council engaged EnviroCom to develop a Bioregion Education Module for self-implementation by schools of the region. The resource seeks to facilitate schools in conducting on-site assessments of their biodiversity values, in developing informed action plans for enhancing biodiversity, and in implementing practice and behaviour change, contributing positively to the integrity of the regional ecosystem (RE) and bioregion.
EnviroCom was further commissioned by the Moreton Bay Regional Council to conduct a Pilot Study of the resource, to determine the:
- demand for such a ‘biodiversity’ resource,
- level of implementation support required/expected by schools,
- appropriateness of module content/tools,
- opportunities/barriers to integrating and implementing the resource, and
- the resources’ ability to facilitate positive environmental outcomes and apply feedback loops transferring vital information back to Council.
Pilot Study schools reported a rewarding, authentic, successful experience with the resource. Rich connections between the resource and existing curriculum outcomes were identified, and it was deemed appropriate, user friendly, versatile and adaptable. Schools reported improved confidence and capacity from staff and students with regard to biodiversity and in the attitudes and priorities afforded biodiversity at their school. A Biodiversity Enhancement Action Plan has been developed for each school, steering and focusing their long-term, prioritised, locally specific, practice and behaviour change.
Think Food – Rethink Waste
- Logan City Council
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.
Education Resource Development: Desalination
- Sydney Water
EnviroCom”s curriculum development team was commissioned to develop resources for the population serviced by Sydney Water that would improve understanding of the scientific processes and social services delivered by desalination. The units of work ( for Grade 7 multi-curricula, Grade 10 Science and Grade 10 Geography) included a series of lesson plans specifically targeted to each year level and subject area, designed to link with the Sydney Water Desalination Virtual Tour, additional existing educational resources and the National Curriculum.
The units of work are available via a free download for teachers via the Sydney Water website.