Multi-Unit Dwelling Contamination Management Strategy
EnviroCom 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.
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.
Logan City Council Launches Waste Smart Kindy Program
- Commercial Waste Minimisation, Education Research and Planning, Education Resource Development and Review, Education Strategy, Staff Engagement, Staff Training, Stakeholder Engagement, Strategic Planning, Sustainability, Waste Education, Waste Management, Waste Planning, Waste Stream Assessment
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) Behaviour Change Implementation Plan
- Moyne Shire Council
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
In 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.
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.
‘Train the Trainer’ Composting and Worm Farming Workshop
- Southern Downs Regional Council
EnviroCom delivers the annual Waste Education Strategy on behalf of Southern Downs Regional Council and has been facilitating free community workshops on behalf of Council for several years.
The ‘Train the Trainer’ Composting and Worm Farming Workshop was specifically tailored to people that had previously participated in a Council run community composting and worm farming workshop, who are actively composting and/or worm farming, and who are passionate about its environmental benefits. The workshop, facilitated by a professional environmental educator from EnviroCom, provided participants with all the skills, knowledge and resources to be able to independently deliver composting and/ or worm farming information sessions to friends, family and other residents within the local area, through existing networks, community groups and beyond.
By educating and upskilling engaged members of local communities, the ‘Train the Trainer’ style workshops aim to tap into the knowledge and skills of these local ‘environmental champions’ to help spread key sustainability messages to a broader section of the community.
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.