Education Strategy

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.

EnviroCom features in Inside Waste

Jo Smith, EnviroCom’s Environmental Consultant, featured in the latest edition of Inside Waste.

Jo Smith is a passionate and committed Environmental Consultant working from EnviroCom’s office in Orange.  Jo coordinates multiple Council education contracts in regional NSW and was selected by Inside Waste to feature in an article showcasing Young Professionals within the waste industry.  

Jo says one of the most challenging aspects of her role is influencing community waste generation and disposal behaviours. To counteract the impacts of COVID-19, Jo and the rest of the EnviroCom team have developed innovative solutions to continue to achieve Councils’ waste education targets. Community engagement initiatives such as online webinars, social media campaigns and video resources are delivering positive outcomes for many of EnviroCom’s clients. With the expertise and passion of environmental consultants such as Jo, EnviroCom continues to deliver effective, strategic and innovative waste education programs for clients across the waste sector.

Inside Waste is produced by a team of leading journalists who engage with key individuals to provide the latest news, views and insights in the waste industry.

Click here to read more.

Waste & Resource Recovery Education Strategy 2020-2024

Envirocom was commissioned to develop a comprehensive 4-year Waste and Resource Recovery Education Strategy (WRRE Strategy) on behalf of Campbelltown City Council, NSW. 

The WRRE Strategy identifies the priorities and actions to be undertaken over the next four years to educate the Campbelltown community as Council moves towards its broad goals of waste minimisation, improved quality of recyclables and organics streams and improved resource recovery from household kerbside bins. Importantly, the Strategy seeks to engage with the Campbelltown community and acknowledge the important role they have to play in achieving these goals.

To assist Council in realising these goals, the WRRE Strategy is guided by an overarching vision statement underpinned by four key themes and associated objectives.

Community engagement that is based on a knowledge and application of behaviour change and Community Based Social Marketing is a key focus of the WRRE Strategy. EnviroCom considered behaviour change principles in the development of targeted, strategic and prioritised action plans for each of the four themes to enable Campbelltown City Council to realise the WRRE Strategy vision and achieve the key objectives over the next four years, 2020-2024.

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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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

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.

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Hawkesbury Show Public Place Recycling Program 23/4/2016

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.

­­­­­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.