With over twenty years of project experience, a diversity of available services and wide-ranging staff capabilities, EnviroCom can provide clients with specialised services in Environmental Education, Training and Research.
EnviroCom complete another successful year of the Beach Clean Up Program with Sunshine Coast Council
For the fourth year running, EnviroCom have been engaged by Sunshine Coast Council to assist in the development and delivery of the Sunshine Coast Beach Clean Up Program. The program aims to support and enhance the community’s engagement with monitoring and maintaining the local environment to minimise the impacts of marine debris.
Last year, the Beach Clean Up Program assisted more than 2,400 participants in collecting 117,627 pieces of litter across 83 locations on the Sunshine Coast. EnviroCom was involved in coordinating three major regional events including Clean Up Australia Day, Clean Up for the Hatchlings and Schools Beach Clean Up, as well as smaller beach clean up events throughout the year.
Thanks to the dedicated community on the Sunshine Coast, the Beach Clean Up Program is continuing to grow and develop. Through training and engagement, the program provides the community with the skills to create behaviour change, with the key message that every small action contributes to great change.
The data collected from the Beach Clean Up Program is utilised locally, but is also added to the Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Initiative database. This data is analysed to allow for strategic implementation of source reduction projects, which aim to stop the waste material becoming litter in the first place.
EnviroCom has been engaged to deliver the Beach Clean Up Program for another three years. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the Sunshine Coast Council and the community to protect the local environment.
EnviroCom Facilitates the DES Waste Educators Workshop
In May 2019, the Department of Environment and Science engaged EnviroCom to facilitate a two day Waste Educators Workshop. The workshop was targeted at key waste educators from local government, the waste industry, Environmental Education Centres, key education sector personnel, community organisations, not for profit agencies, primary and secondary teachers, and administrative staff across Queensland.
Approximately 60 waste education stakeholders came together for the workshop, to discuss the current state of waste education in Queensland, along with the existing opportunities and challenges for implementing waste and resource recovery programs in Queensland schools.
A variety of group discussion and facilitation strategies were employed for the workshop to gather meaningful and valuable feedback from participants to inform the design and development of a four year waste and resource recovery strategy. Incorporated in the group discussion and facilitation strategies was the engagement of, and collaboration with, a graphic recorder. The graphic documentation of the main discussion points was incredibly valuable for post reflection and synthesis of key ideas and recommendations arising from workshop participants’ contributions.
Food Scraps Recycling Information Events
- City of Sydney
The City of Sydney implemented a Food Scraps Recycling Trial in 2019 as one of many initiatives designed to work towards reaching the target of ‘Zero Waste by 2030’, the long term goal of Council’s ‘Leave Nothing to Waste’ strategy. The Trial aims to reduce residential waste to landfill by providing residents in multi-unit (MUDs) and single-unit (SUDs) dwellings with an easy-to-use food scraps collection service. Registered participants were to be provided with a benchtop kitchen caddy and a supply of compostable caddy liners to assist with easily collecting food scraps in the home. A total of 53 MUDs and 330 SUDs were to be included in the Trial, which will run for 12 months from the 1st July 2019.
EnviroCom was engaged by Council to host ‘information stall’ pop-up events in a sample (20) of the participating MUDs ahead of the rollout of the Trial. The information stalls aimed to provide residents with a face-to-face opportunity to receive clarification around the purpose and logistics of the Trial (including the environmental benefits of food scraps recycling); to answer resident questions; and to encourage residents to register for the trial if they hadn’t previously done so.
Over 500 people were actively engaged across two full weekends of pop-ups and almost 90 new households signed up to the Trial. The vast majority of residents engaged demonstrated a high level of enthusiasm and support for the service and were particularly excited to hear that the food scraps would be used to create renewable energy, in addition to being converted into a high quality compost.
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.
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!
Regulated Waste Training
Client: Stanwell Corporation
EnviroCom Australia delivered three regulated waste training sessions to staff and contractors from Tarong Power Station, Tarong North Power Station and Meandu Mine (Stanwell) to assist in ensuring continued legislative compliance in regulated waste management and tracking. The practically focused, small group training sessions were delivered onsite and customised for the specific site needs and wastes generated.
The delivery of customised site-based training can be used to assist in addressing complex compliance issues by cutting through the regulatory jargon and focusing on the specific needs of a site, a project or an event. This process is best applied where detailed consideration of the waste generation composition and behaviour has been undertaken.
EnviroCom can assist any of our customers to assess waste composition, waste generation behaviours, regulated waste generation, waste management planning and develop site specific training or other interventions to address efficiencies, resource loss, resource recovery and compliance goals.
Council Internal Waste Training Workshop
Client: Sunshine Coast Council
EnviroCom, in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council’s Environment and Sustainability Department, developed and delivered a series of training workshops for staff across the organisation. The main objective of this project was to engage and train a Waste Champion from each department or branch, through a ‘train the trainer’ style workshop. The workshop was designed to cover both a broad range of issues related to waste generation and disposal as well as an understanding of barriers to and motivators for behavioural change. Feedback indicated that the workshop provided a great balance of information and skills-based learning, which translated into action as participants felt confident to train their teams in how to engage with Council’s internal waste management system and other waste minimisation techniques. A second series of workshops is planned for later in the year, with Waste Champions to monitor progress at follow-up meetings.
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.
School Waste Minimisation Planning Program Takes Off
- Logan City Council
In 2013, Logan City Council’s popular waste education program, Watch Out Waste, began offering schools assistance with the development of a tailored School Waste Minimisation Plan (SWMP) to align with their School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP).
The assistance based program involves experienced EnviroCom educators providing advice on off-site collection services. This advice helps schools undertake baseline data gathering and develop a targeted and practical School Waste Minimisation Plan. The established in-class education program also complements the waste minimisation goals set by the school.
EnviroCom has currently assisted 4 schools to successfully develop a SWMP, with the collaborative approach to planning and development positively received by all schools involved. Through Council’s Watch Out Waste Program, EnviroCom hopes to engage a further 4-8 schools in the new financial year, as well as expand the program to provide assistance to local businesses.
For more information about Logan City Council’s Watch Out Waste Program visit Council’s website: http://www.logan.qld.gov.au/environment-water-and-waste/waste-and-recycling/waste-education
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.