Education Resource Development and Review

Early Learning Water Education Program

In late 2020, Bathurst Regional Council released its innovative Early Learning Water Education program via the Bathurst Council website. The water education program is a comprehensive, free and highly engaging online resource that aligns with NSW Education Standards Authority’s Early Learning Framework and aims to educate young children in the pre-kindy age group (ages 3.5-5yrs) on water conservation and water use in their regional setting.

EnviroCom assisted Council by developing the educational content for the five learning modules and developed and facilitated the supporting webinar. The purpose of the webinar was to provide early years educators in Bathurst with an opportunity to engage in a guided introduction to the education program’s content. This included instructions on how to navigate the dedicated web portal to discover the five learning modules and an introduction to the numerous fun activities, support resources, live theatre videos and other support materials.

Hawkesbury website revamp for easier access of waste information

Waste pages are some of the most commonly viewed sections on Council websites.  Consequently, they form an important conduit for distributing both general and Council-specific waste and recycling information to the local community.  Hawkesbury City Council identified an opportunity to streamline waste related information to improve accessibility by residents, and invited EnviroCom to undertake a comprehensive review of the waste services pages on Council’s website in order to identify areas for improvement.

The redesign, as directed and overseen by EnviroCom, was guided by a detailed project scope, which considered Council’s preference for a more mobile-friendly format; a desire to reduce the number of website pages; and a desire to avoid text heavy pages where possible. 

New website content was developed by EnviroCom’s experienced consultants for the waste-related subpages, with input from and final approval provided by Council.  All content was then provided to Council’s IT department who undertook the website refurbishing process ‘back of house’, rearranging subpages and uploading the new content and resources as required.  Feedback provided by Council indicated the IT department was very impressed by the highly intuitive and user-friendly arrangement of the information and content. 

Multi-Unit Dwelling Contamination Management Strategy

CaptureEnviroCom was commissioned by The Hills Shire Council to develop a Multi-Unit Dwelling Contamination Management Strategy to improve the quality of materials placed into bins by the residents of multi-unit dwellings.

The aim of the MUD Contamination Management Strategy was to identify key tools, tactics and processes that could be utilised by Council and its collection contractor, to provide reinforcement and support for multi-unit dwellings that ‘do the right thing’ and participate proactively in source separation, and also include identification, investigation and intervention in complexes that are not complying.

EnviroCom adopted a multi-phase approach in the development of the MUD Contamination Management Strategy, based on knowledge and application of behaviour change frameworks and the principles of Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM).

Phase 1: Undertake research to establish baseline data and build user profile of knowledge and waste disposal behaviours via door knocking and online resident survey, MUD complex site assessment and bin inspection program.

Phase 2: Identify behaviour change barriers and motivators through development of a critical criteria ranking tool.

Phase 3: Strategic implementation of educational interventions e.g. signage, stickers, workshops, letters, infrastructure changes etc. and creation of an education intervention action plan.

Phase 4: Assessment and evaluation to monitor and assess the impact of the educational interventions on influencing user behaviours and identifying further opportunities for education and engagement.

The MUD Contamination Management Strategy was supported by the development of online questionnaires for key stakeholders (MUDs residents and Strata Managers) and site inspection materials for use by Council’s waste inspector.  EnviroCom also developed and designed supporting collateral including bin hangers for use during bin inspections, bin stickers, and targeted waste education postcards for distribution to residents.

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!

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 green waste service going from strength to strength

green bin side viewIn 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

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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!

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.