Education Research and Planning

ACT Green Waste Service Behaviour Change Study

After a pilot program beginning in 2017, the ACT Green Waste Service became available to all eligible Canberra residents in April 2019. EnviroCom designed and delivered an education and marketing plan to assist in the smooth introduction of the service. A key outcome of the plan was to minimise contamination in the new Green Waste Service. Since the outset of the service, the education plan has been successful at achieving this, with the contamination rate remaining below 0.5%.

Since the introduction of the service, EnviroCom maintained a number of datasets containing information on contamination, interview responses, and demographic data. To be able to maintain low contamination rates, EnviroCom undertook a behaviour change study and analysed this data to identify trends and patterns in behaviour, and the underlying internal (inside the home) and external (outside of the home) influences.

Potential barriers that may prevent individuals from utilising the green waste service effectively were identified as opportunity (factors beyond the individual which provide the means to carry out the behaviour), social norms (being influenced by what others are doing), capability (ability to undertake the behaviour), and emotions (actual or anticipated feelings in response to performing a behaviour).

Utilising the findings from the behaviour change study, EnviroCom’s team of consultants continues to evolve and improve the education and marketing plan, delivering strategic education messages to target audiences with the aim of maintaining, and further reducing, contamination incidences.

From Workshops to Webinars; Waste Education Goes Online

The sudden arrival of COVID19 restrictions in April 2020 placed a number of scheduled International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) community workshops in jeopardy for delivery on behalf of our valued Clients.

In partnership with these Clients, EnviroCom quickly worked to transition traditional direct engagement delivery elements across to an online environment.  Existing workshop outcomes were used to generate specific learning content suitable for delivery via an online platform to ensure that engaging and interactive webinars could be developed.  Extensive testing was then completed in-house, in a very short timeframe, and the webinars prepared for ‘go live’.

Both City of Whittlesea and Maroondah Council re-advertised the workshops as webinars – honouring the original workshop delivery dates. The response was immediate with an increase in registrations compared to the original face to face programs.

After a week of delivering back to back webinars, using a combination of approaches such as live presenters, PowerPoint slides, video clips and online polls, the feedback and engagement from the community has been excellent.  Q&A sessions during each webinar have been very lively with an average of three questions per attendee, which is far in excess of the number of questions normally fielded in a face to face scenario.  Post webinar surveys suggest that over three-quarters of participants would prefer to attend webinar style education in the future compared to face to face options.

EnviroCom is continuing to work with many of our Clients to further refine the delivery elements and enhance the webinar experience.  Far from being a short term fix for the COVID19 world, we are entering a brave new world of community engagement and learning!

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.

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Logan City Council Launches Waste Smart Kindy Program

A new program aimed at helping Early Learning Centres reduce their waste has launched in the Logan City Council area. The new Waste Smart Kindy Program is a milestone program, designed to support Early Learning Centres, Childcare Centres and Kindergartens on their journey towards sustainability. The program has taken inspiration from the success of a similar initiative by Brisbane City Council.

Resources, guidance, advice, and training will be provided by EnviroCom’s team of experienced Environmental Educators to engage centres in investigations of on-site waste issues, which will inform the development and design of sustainable, appropriate waste management solutions.

Considering and adopting the principles of behaviour change, this program will empower participating centres to achieve long term results in regards to sustainable waste generation and disposal behaviours.  This approach will result in a reduction in waste generation, encourage centres to avoid and minimise disposal of general waste to landfill, and promote reducing, reusing, and recycling.

This program will provide support to centres to assist them in meeting or exceeding their sustainability accreditation requirements as outlined in the National Quality Standards. The Waste Smart Kindy Program is available to all Early Learning Centres, Childcare Centres and Kindergartens within the Logan region.

If you would like more information on Logan’s Waste Smart Kindy Program, please email our team at: loganwe@envirocom.com.au

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Kids in Action on the Sunshine Coast

Since 2006, Sunshine Coast Council have held the Kids in Action Program on the Sunshine Coast. Kids in Action (KIA) is an environmental education program aimed at increasing environmental literacy and inspiring environmental stewardship. Sunshine Coast Council has engaged EnviroCom Australia to deliver the Kids in Action Program since 2017.

In 2018 the Kids in Action theme ‘Changing Climates – Changing Lives’ focused on the implications of climate change both locally and across the globe. The theme asks students to consider how humans and other species are adapting to climate-related changes and what the opportunities are to build resilience and inspire positive change.

The 2018 program saw 277 students from 23 different schools, 110 adults and 27 community groups participate throughout the year. The first event of the program was the KIA Environmental Projects Day, held at Point Cartwright Reserve in April. The day involved 8 interactive environmental activities designed to inspire the students to think creatively about how they could approach the KIA theme and connect the students with local mentors to assist on their journey.

With the assistance of the KIA team and local mentors, schools busily began creating and developing their workshop, main stage presentation or interactive display to share with other schools at the Kids Teaching Kids Conference in September. The conference saw 16 workshops, 6 main stage presentations and 7 interactive displays including topics such as ‘Love Your Food!’, ‘Be Fashion Conscious!’, ‘Trees have feelings too!’ and ‘#EarthRights’. Main stage presentations were delivered from 6 schools and involved ‘The Clean Water Rap’, ‘Consequences’ and ‘Re-bag! Changing Bags, Changing Lives’. Kids in Action 2018 successfully wrapped up in October with the KIA Roadshow event where 4 schools set up their interactive displays for 4 days at Kawana Shopping World to engage the broader community.

The KIA Program is highly successful, but don’t just take our word for it, checkout the videos on Council’s website to see what the students and other participants thought about their experience with the Kids in Action Program.

Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) Behaviour Change Implementation Plan

Moyne Shire Council, in partnership with Corangamite and Southern Grampians Shire Councils (the Councils) and supported by the Barwon South West Waste and Resource Recovery Group (BSWWRRG), wished to develop a business case for the improvement of food diversion from landfills in the region. The primary mechanism for the reduction of food to landfill provided by the Councils is a food organics and garden organics (FOGO) kerbside collection service.

Historical composition analysis and observations from the Councils indicated that the FOGO kerbside collection service was primarily being used for disposal of green waste materials while a majority of food waste materials continued to be presented to the red-lidded general waste bin.

To assist in addressing the relative underperformance of the FOGO kerbside collection, the Councils commissioned EnviroCom to undertake a project to consider the opportunities for a behaviour change approach to community education. The project adopted the principles of behaviour change and Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) in the development and delivery of a multiphase project that was delivered between May 2018 to June 2019 and comprised three phases:

  • Phase 1: Research Phase- undertaking regionally specific research (May – August 2018)
  • Phase 2: Intervention Phase- considering, developing and trialling educational interventions to achieve changed behaviours (September 2018 – March 2019)
  • Phase 3: Review and recommendation phase measuring and assessing the changed behaviours and developing a Behaviour Change Implementation Plan (BCIP) (April – June 2019)

The overarching objective for the BCIP was: ‘To eliminate the presentation of food waste materials to the residual waste stream’ and was supported by six critical and interconnected behaviour change drivers as identified during Phases 1 & 2 of the project.

The BCIP included a detailed and strategic 3-5 year action plan. The deliverables presented in the action plan framework centred on a range of community engagement approaches and tools designed to address the behaviour change drivers and meet the needs of the target audience. The action plan also included KPIs and a robust evaluation, monitoring and assessment system. The BCIP was supported by a business case for expanding and sustaining changed FOGO behaviours in the target communities.

ACT NoWaste Green Bin Pilot Program

Green Bin Pilot Program

 

In 2017, EnviroCom established an environmental education and projects officer position in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to support the roll-out of the Green Bin Pilot Program (green waste service). The green waste service is provided by CorkHill Bros. and JJ Richards & Sons on behalf of the ACT Government. The initial pilot program was aimed at households in Chapman, Duffy, Fisher, Holder, Rivett, Stirling, Waramanga, Weston and Kambah only, with expansion planned for 2018.

 

This greenwaste contract is the first of its kind in the ACT and has been met with growing interest since its establishment. EnviroCom’s role as the educator includes the recruitment of new participants in the opt-in collection, promotion of correct use of the service to minimise contamination and monitoring of current use and contamination.

 

The pilot has resulted in very low rates of contamination (<1%) in the green waste collected. These low rates of contamination are supported by a range of communication and marketing program elements including regular bin inspections, community consultation events, public place displays and other education opportunities at the request of community members.

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­­­­­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.

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.

National Litter Education Audit

Client: Healthy Waterways

EnviroCom Australia, in partnership with Healthy Waterways, undertook a desktop audit of litter education resources and programs in circulation throughout Australia. The audit was the first phase in the development of a coordinated litter education strategy for Queensland schools, issued by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

An online survey tool, web research and resource review processes were used to identify and map the resources and programs, determine their alignment with the Australian Curriculum and identify the predominant litter messages and topics addressed. A total of 92 litter education items were identified from various national, state and local agency/organisational levels.

Five key recommendations arose from the audit findings and formed the basis of a quality criteria framework that will inform the future development of resources and initiatives to support litter and illegal dumping education in Queensland schools.