Waste Management

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. 

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.

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!

Animated social media videos to target waste behaviours

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated EnviroCom’s adoption of online resources, enabling our clients to continue to deliver meaningful and effective waste education programs to their communities. We have developed animated waste education videos for a large number of Councils to post on their social media platforms, to assist the community in reducing waste and recycling right. The animated videos are tailored to suit the needs of each Council, using graphics, logos and targeted messaging to specifically address the waste issues of the region. These videos provide Councils with an engaging way of informing the community on correct waste management practices.

EnviroCom have developed two styles of animated videos:

  • Pop-up (10-15 seconds)
  • Explainer (45-60 seconds)

Here are some examples:

Pop-Up

Explainer

We can work with clients to develop videos on a range of  topics. If you would like further information on developing video animations for your Council or business, contact us today at enquiries@envirocom.com.au

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.

Hawkesbury City Council Recycling Bin Inspection Program

EnviroCom have been undertaking bin inspection programs (BIPs) on behalf of Hawkesbury City Council in Sydney since 2017.  The BIPs aim to assess current recycling bin use and educate residents in Single-Unit Dwellings (SUDs) within target areas in the Hawkesbury Local Government Area.

In 2019, recycling bins from SUDs in seven inspection areas were each inspected twice within a fortnightly period between February and April. 150 recycling bins were inspected each day and observed contamination in each bin was recorded in accordance with a contamination rating scale. EnviroCom also developed and designed the supporting collateral for the BIP.  During the inspections, bins with no visible contamination (or one minor contaminant) received a ‘Thank You’ bin tag.  Bins that presented more than one contaminant received a ‘Please Recycle Correctly’ bin tag outlining the contaminant materials identified.  Each tag provided direct feedback and education to residents about the contents of their recycling bin and encouraged residents to adopt correct waste disposal practices.  In addition, inspected households received a double sided information flyer outlining the program and the focus on education.  Further, a ‘No Plastic Bags or Soft Plastics’ sticker was placed on each recycling bin as a long standing reminder to residents to avoid placing these items in their bin.

The combined results of all initial inspections and repeat inspections conducted during the 2017, 2018 and 2019 BIP showed an increase in the number of bins being awarded a Rating Zero during the repeat inspections.  This suggests that each Hawkesbury BIP is having a noticeable positive effect on recycling behaviours throughout the LGA through the delivery of specific and targeted education at the household level.

‘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.

EnviroCom recognised in Inside Waste’s annual Consultants Review

EnviroCom has ranked in Inside Waste’s annual Consultants Review in the ‘Education, training, community consultation’ and ‘Waste auditing’ categories.

Each year, Inside Waste conducts the Consultants Review, a survey with its members to rank consulting firms within the waste industry. EnviroCom ranked third in Australia for both the ‘Education, training, community consultation’ and ‘Waste auditing’ categories, demonstrating EnviroCom’s commitment to delivering high quality outcomes to our clients. You can find more information on the services EnviroCom delivers here.

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.