Sustainability

Social Media Provides Effective Waste Education

To effectively engage the community in correct and safe waste management practices during COVID-19, EnviroCom developed a social media package for Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC). The package included four social media tiles accompanied by captions, and a frequently asked questions document to assist customer service staff with waste related enquiries. The four social media posts were developed to target specific kerbside waste generation and disposal behaviours such as recycling contamination, resource loss and disposal of hazardous materials as identified in the kerbside waste audit that EnviroCom previously conducted for MBRC. These social media posts were well received with a total of 235 likes, 91 comments and 72 shares.

EnviroCom also developed a short animated video for MBRC to provide recycling tips during National Recycling Week. The video received over 1,500 views, 5 comments, 8 shares and 25 likes on Facebook. The video is now available via the MBRC website and will be used as an ongoing tool to engage the Moreton Bay community in best practice waste behaviours. Check out the video below!

EnviroCom complete another successful year of the Beach Clean Up Program with Sunshine Coast Council

CU4TH SCC Team (Medium)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.

‘Grin on Your Bin’ Inspection Program for Logan City Council

Bin tagThe ‘Grin on Your Bin’ (GOYB) project, delivered through Logan City Council’s Waste Education Program, is aimed at educating residents about what they can and cannot place into their kerbside recycling bins through a targeted bin inspection program. The program also allows EnviroCom to record contamination incidences in the Kerbside Comingled Recycling Stream at a household level.

The behaviour change strategy underpinning the GOYB inspections aims to reduce contamination at the household level by providing targeted education specific to observed waste disposal behaviours. Each kerbside recycling bin inspected receives a bin hanger which addresses incorrect behaviours, through the specific identification of any contaminant, and reiterates preferred behaviours by listing acceptable recyclable materials.

Over the last 3.5 years, almost 4,000 of Logan’s kerbside recycling bins have been inspected by EnviroCom’s bin inspectors. Results from follow up inspections of more than 500 of these bins indicate that providing education directly to the user is effective in reducing levels of contamination and influencing positive changes in household recycling behaviours.

The repeated and targeted GOYB behaviour change program would appear to be having a positive impact on the waste disposal and source separation behaviours of Logan residents. Results from regular audits of Logan’s Domestic Kerbside Comingled Recycling Stream found that contamination rates are at their lowest point since 2013, coinciding with the expansion of the GOYB program.

Award winning partnership, Sunshine Coast Council’s Kids in Action Program

KIA 1Winners of the 2020 Queensland Reconciliation Awards Partnership Category.

Sunshine Coast Council’s 2019 Kids in Action program has been recognised for the role it played in building deeper connections between the Jinibara and Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi First Nations people and the region’s children, by winning the Queensland Reconciliation Award partnership. 2019 was the International Year of Indigenous Languages, which encouraged the program to deepen the connections with the Sunshine Coast First Nations communities.

Local Traditional Custodians guided students as they learnt about their iconic species and began their journey towards becoming passionate custodians of Country. In total, 257 students, 24 schools, 145 teachers/adults, 19 First Nations mentors, 7 youth leaders and 23 volunteers attended five events throughout the year.

EnviroCom has been involved in the Kids In Action Program for many years and has coordinated the program for the 3 years (2017-2019) for Sunshine Coast Council . EnviroCom would like to congratulate the Sunshine Coast Council, the Jinibara and Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi First Nations people, the students and teachers and all the amazing volunteers and community groups who joined together to create this very special program. Thank you for your passion, your energy and your incredible support. The Sunshine Coast Council Kids in Action program truly is an award winning partnership.

For highlights of the final event – KIA conference – please view https://youtu.be/wkpw7ar8Ljc

Ophir Road Resource Recovery Centre’s Virtual Tour

OCC Logo without NetWasteThe video also takes a closer look at Orange’s 3-bin kerbside system, as provided to residents by Council.  The footage shows the journey of each waste stream and provides an insight into what happens to waste materials beyond the kerbside.

By using the Council-provided bins and the ORRRC, Orange residents can greatly reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. Orange City Council is also one of a growing number of Councils that accepts food and garden waste in the green-lidded bin, which is then turned into, Australian standard compost through a state-of-the-art organics composting facility.

The ORRRC Virtual Tour video can be viewed on the Orange City Council website, along with information about upcoming Waste Facility Tours run by EnviroCom Australia, for residents who are interested in attending a free guided tour of Orange’s waste facilities.

An article in the local  Central Western Daily newspaper in February 2020 helped to further promote Orange City Council’s waste education program and waste facility tours.

Ophir Rd RRC crop for website

Eliminating Business Waste with Nile Street Café

Nile Street Café in Orange, NSW is a fantastic example of how sustained effort and buy-in from the owners and staff can achieve sustainable outcomes. Through a business engagement program developed by EnviroCom on behalf of Orange City Council, Nile Street Café has reviewed its waste management practices and is achieving some great results.

Owner Frank Mohun advises not to become overwhelmed. “We started off by making a couple of really small changes that quickly became habits, and we were able to move onto the next thing. Eventually, this all adds up to make a big difference.”

“We’re always looking for lower waste alternatives in our business, whether that be by changing our practices or using more sustainable products. We have switched to using paper straws and paper packaging for our takeaways.”

The Café participates in the Responsible Cafes program, offering a discount to customers who bring reusable cups, and staff collect eligible containers to refund through the Return & Earn scheme.  The Café negotiated with their suppliers to return packaging for reuse – used milk bottles, ice-cream tubs and vinegar drums are returned to be cleaned and refilled. Boxes from fruit and vegetable deliveries are picked up with the next delivery. This way, valuable resources stay in use for longer.

Utilising the Council-provided Recycling and Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) bins effectively is really important.  “As a café, food makes up a significant part of our waste. Not everything can go into our compost bin so using the FOGO bin properly means we send significantly less waste to landfill.”

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Cafe garden growing produce for kitchen, using their own compost.

 

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Oil tin collection for recycling.

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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EnviroCom’s consultants invited to present at national conferences

2019 is once again proving to be a busy year for EnviroCom as our experienced consultants are called upon to share their expertise and showcase a range of innovative projects at conferences across the country.

In April, EnviroCom was invited by the Melbourne Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) to present at their toolbox workshop on, ‘How to develop and deliver your FOGO Community Behaviour Change program’, which was attended by more than 80 representatives from local Councils.

In May, EnviroCom attended the Waste 2019 Conference at Coffs Harbour and presented a paper entitled Waste Education- Time for a Rethink that acknowledged that while education is undoubtedly a powerful tool for community engagement and community change also questioned whether there is a need to reconsider the approach to waste education in light of recent events within the industry.

In May, EnviroCom also attended the inaugural Cleantech Conference on the Sunshine Coast and delivered a presentation that demonstrated how strategic, timely and targeted education can have a positive influence on community behaviour change, regardless of the industry sector.

In October, EnviroCom will attend the WMRR 2019 WasteQ Regional Waste Management Conference in Toowoomba and will present on a range of projects including: a Beach Litter Project that showcases the powerful role of community engagement in effective litter management and litter source reduction; Let’s Go FOGO- a project that considers how understanding and addressing behaviour change drivers can have a positive impact on diversion rates of food materials into FOGO; and, how targeted bin inspection and educational intervention programs are having a noticeable impact on driving positive waste diversion behaviours at the household level.

In October, EnviroCom will also be attending the Victorian Waste Education Conference in Geelong to present on the processes, challenges and outcomes of developing a FOGO Behaviour Change Implementation Plan and Business Case on behalf of three regional Victorian Councils as well as showcasing the successful ACT Green Waste Service as an example of how targeted and strategic community education and engagement has resulted in high rates of community participation, negligible contamination and high customer satisfaction.

And, not forgetting, that back in February EnviroCom was voted number 1 outright for ‘Education, Training and Community’ in the Inside Waste Consultants survey as voted by our clients and customers.

2019 Clean Up Australia Day breaks records on the Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast community turned out in record numbers to support Clean Up Australia Day events across the region.

For more than a decade, EnviroCom has proudly coordinated Clean Up Australia Day events for the Sunshine Coast Council and this year was the biggest one ever. The Sunshine Coast had a 10% increase from last year’s volunteer numbers, with 1630 registered volunteers across more than 100 sites.

Over the years, EnviroCom has assisted Council to utilise Clean Up Australia Day to not only raise awareness of littering and its impacts, but to also instil pride in the community to protect their local environment. Community engagement with the event has grown and broadened both geographically and socially. Sites are now located across the entire region, from the beaches to the hinterland and involve early learning centres, schools, businesses and community groups. Many areas of the community work together and support each other for greater outcomes. Schools have been encouraged to register sites outside their school grounds and to engage with community mentors to help develop the citizen scientists of the future. This investment in the community has developed an increasingly engaged community on the Sunshine Coast and now every day, every walk, every pedal and every paddle is a little Clean Up Sunshine Coast Day.