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 Program Catalyst for Hawkesbury Environmental Award
- Hawkesbury City Council
In 2018, EnviroCom developed a Waste Education incursion that focused on promoting improved waste management within schools. The incursion was specifically tailored to Stage 3 and 4 students and involved a student led Waste Stream Assessment of the participating school’s rubbish bins. After completing this waste audit, participating students from Windsor High School, Hawkesbury, NSW, entered a competition called ‘Innovation Nation’ run by the Foundation of Young Australians which required them to develop ideas for social and environmental change.
The submission detailed how the students had developed a Waste Management Program called the ‘Cash Cage Project’. The Project aimed to reduce landfill waste volume within the school through rubbish reduction and better recycling and was adopted by the whole school community as students and teachers embraced the program. Windsor High was one of 10 entries selected on the merit, worthiness and the ability of their project and they received a $1,000 micro grant, online resources as well as coaching sessions with experienced business leaders to help assist in the Project.
The money earned from the ‘return and earn’ part of the Cash Cage Project was used to purchase compost bins to further reduce waste in the school environment and produce compost for use in the school gardens and agricultural plot.
In recognition of their outstanding waste minimisation achievements, Windsor High School was awarded the Hawkesbury Environmental Award at the Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards 2019.
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.
Review of Food Waste Processing Options for Sunshine Coast Council Facilities
- Sunshine Coast Council
In 2017 EnviroCom undertook a research project to investigate options for the recycling of food waste produced at Sunshine Coast Council facilities and events.
The project aimed to provide Council with recommendations for methods to process food waste to reduce emissions, waste to landfill and to create a product that could be reused on Council owned parks and gardens.
Multiple technologies for organics processing were identified and compared against various criteria specific to Council’s requirements. These criteria included spatial and infrastructure requirements, environmental considerations, capital/ongoing costs, ease of use and legislative requirements.
EnviroCom was able to determine the processing requirements based on data collected in previous assessments of Council facility and event waste and recycling streams. From this data, potential implementation sites were highlighted and an appropriate processing option recommended.
The research project provided Council with an opportunity to reduce both waste to landfill and the carbon footprint while turning the food waste into an organic resource that could be utilised locally.
Porchetta Day Festival 15/1/2016
- Gunnedah Shire Council
Gunnedah’s ‘Porchetta Day Festival’ is a busy community event with a focus on local food, produce and all things Italian.
2015 was the Festival’s seventh year and so was the perfect candidate for introducing Public Place Recycling – to increase resource recovery on the day. In partnership with Council, EnviroCom advised with regards to education material, bin positioning on the day, flyers and signage – all with a focus on reducing the amount of waste generated for disposal at landfill and maximising the use of onsite recycling bins.
Throughout the event EnviroCom hosted a recycling education stall on behalf of Council – handing out educational flyers and prizes to individuals who were spotted doing the right thing and recycling correctly. Resident surveys were also completed at the stall, with the community supportive of Public Place Recycling at events. A visual inspection of recycling and waste bins was also conducted on the day, to assess the contamination found within the recycling stream and estimate the quantity of resource loss in the waste stream. Overall the implementation of the program was a success with visual audits showing low levels of contamination in the recycling bins as well as minimum resource loss found within the residual waste bins.
Orange Waste Diary 12/1/2016
- Orange City Council
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
- 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.
Recycle Now Kensington
- City of Melbourne
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.
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.