Pledge Campaign encouraging Central West residents to feed their FOGO bin
To increase the use of the kerbside Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) service in Bathurst, Forbes, Orange and Parkes, EnviroCom launched the Pledge Campaign on behalf of NetWaste in mid-2018. The campaign asks residents to “take the pledge” to put all their food waste in the FOGO bin rather than in the household garbage bin.
The majority of households in the four LGAs have a FOGO bin that accepts food waste, as well as garden waste and disposable paper. After collection, this material is composted locally to produce nutrient rich organic fertilisers helping to divert this valuable resource away from landfill
The ‘We’re doing it…are you?’ Pledge Campaign aims to increase awareness that all food waste should be placed in the green-lidded FOGO bin and establish this as a social norm. Those who make a pledge receive a pledge campaign bin sticker for the front of their FOGO bin, a factsheet with a range of helpful hints and tips, and are placed on a mailing list to receive regular FOGO related updates from EnviroCom.
Residents are encouraged to make their pledge at frequent public place displays held by EnviroCom staff or can pledge online via the NetWaste website. The campaign has been supported by an extensive media package including TV, radio, social media and newspaper advertisements, and has received media coverage of its own!
Over 750 pledges were received as the campaign garnered significant momentum during its first year, becomingly increasingly recognisable across the region. EnviroCom and NetWaste will build on this during a second year of the program, continuing to motivate households in the Central West to use their FOGO bins and keep food waste out of local landfills.
EnviroCom Australia at the NSW Premier’s Awards
- Orange City Council
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.
Hawkesbury Show Public Place Recycling Program 23/4/2016
- Hawkesbury City Council
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.
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.
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.
Waste Management in Multi Unit Developments
Client: Maroondah City Council
A project instigated by one of EnviroCom’s Senior Consultants in Melbourne, with the aim of reducing illegal rubbish dumping, reducing contamination of recycling material and reducing waste sent to landfill, has had extremely encouraging early results. The project received funding from the Metropolitan Waste Management Group’s Metropolitan Local Government Resource and Recovery Fund.
Four different approaches were trialled, to educate residents of multi unit developments (MUDs) in how to dispose of their rubbish and recycling items. The cheapest option (installing under-the-lid recycling stickers) proved to be the second most effective in improving the contamination rate, whilst the most expensive option (door knocking residents) was the most effective in all categories. This option, while costing just over $13 per unit, was less than twice the cost of the next most expensive option (bin corral signage), which had a negligible or negative effect on contamination rates, resource loss and illegal dumping. The second cheapest option (mail-out of information to residents) resulted in the second highest improvement in illegal dumping.
Face to face contact is clearly the most effective way to educate residents in how to dispose of their rubbish, and the long term cost benefits outweigh the initial outlay. Contamination of recycled material was reduced from 16.5% to 2.5% while illegal dumping was reduced from 2 cubic metres per week to one third of a cubic metre per week for the whole development– a result which is certainly worth replicating on a wider scale.
Cleaning Up at Christmas Carols!
- Bayside City Council
EnviroCom and Bayside City Council increased the Christmas cheer this year by assisting to the annual Bayside Christmas Carols a Waste Wise event! Following Sustainability Victoria’s Waste Wise Program guidelines, EnviroCom applied litter and waste prevention strategies both during the planning process and through on-the-ground services during the event. A report was then provided to Council outlining the key waste outcomes for the event and potential for improvement in future events.
Council’s aim for the 2013 Carols was to minimise litter in the park and maximise recycling on the night. EnviroCom provided strategic guidance around bin placement, signage and messaging ahead of the event and also engaged with food vendors in the lead up and on the evening. A positive outcome was recorded, with the vast majority of vendors supplying only the requested recyclable drink and food containers.
An EnviroCom representative was then in attendance during the event, inspecting bins in relation to fullness and resource loss / contamination rates; we also provided and managed an on-site litter crew. Litter at the event was minimal and contamination rates were consistently low across the majority of recycling bins; a marked improvement on previous years events.
Additional Waste Wise initiatives included events announcements and big screen reminders regarding correct waste disposal being made throughout the evening. The event program and the Carols song book were also provided in a digital format, undeniably reducing waste creation from the event.
Guidelines for Public Place Recycling (PPR) in Shopping Precincts and Public Places
- Australian Packaging Covenant (APC)
Following the success of the ‘Closing the Loop on the Mordialloc Shopping Strip’ project, the Australian Packaging Covenant further commissioned EnviroCom to produce comprehensive Guidelines for Public Place Recycling (PPR) in Shopping Precincts and Public Places.
The guidelines assist local government in introducing PPR systems, with detailed instructions under four easy steps:
Step 1. Review the current system
(e.g. Establish the project area; Review the waste collection contract)
Step 2. Design a new system
(e.g. Set up a project plan; Set targets and objectives; Bin design)
Step 3. Implement the new system
(e.g. Set up a communications plan; Promote the new infrastructure)
Step 4. Monitor and maintain the new system
(e.g. Review the new system; Maintenance and reporting)
Each step has its own ‘checklist’ to guide the user through a PPR implementation project, and there are helpful examples of project plans and maps, risk matrix, effective bin signage, communications plan, media releases, posters and evaluation surveys.
The Guidelines are available for download from the APC website: www.packagingcovenant.org.au/projects.php/17/closing-the-loop-on-mordialloc-shopping-strip
Zero Waste Challenge
- Moreland City Council
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!