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Surprising Stories

Recycling Partnership is a Win Win for All

A recent partnership between IMPACT’s Recycling and Collections Centre and Southern Cross Recycling (SCR) is a win win for our people, our business and the environment. The placement of two collection bins at Stockland’s Sugarland Shoppingtown bus stop (Commonwealth Bank end) are now ready for use by the public. This adds one more location to SCR’s 1500 sites around Australia where people can donate clothing, toys, books and mobile phones. All donated items are collected, sorted and dispersed in an attempt to divert millions of kilos of reusable and recyclable goods from landfill.

For every 1 million kilograms of clothing collected there is:

  • 190,000,000L of Water Savings (equivalent to 76 Olympic sized swimming pools)
  • 74,100,000kWh of electricity (powering 11,278 Australian homes for 1 year)
  • 87,438 tonnes of CO2 (equivalent to taking 20,333 cars off the road in Victoria)
  • $150,000 community saving (in avoided landfill costs)

IMPACT Community Services’ Chief Executive Tanya O’Shea said, “SCR are a dynamic business with a strong social purpose and a mission towards zero waste to landfill so it was a fitting partnership for our recycling centre. It is fantastic to have them joining with our Australian Disability Enterprises for employment outcomes and environmental impact.”

All items collected are baled (non-compacted) in Bundaberg before being sent to Brisbane where they are assessed and sorted for reuse and recycling. Many of the bales are sent to Malaysia where the products are distributed among third world countries. As a result, our partnership provides valuable employment opportunities, reduced waste to landfill, affordable clothing and improved livelihoods of local and global communities.

“It is a great outcome for everyone,” said Tim van Kooten, IMPACT’s Manager at the Recycling Centre. “It is good for us, good for them, and good for the world. The bins are provided free of charge to the community and council so, please leave your items in the bins provided at Sugarland so that it can be recycled.”


DrumMuster Success

The Bundaberg region recently marked a significant milestone under the drumMUSTER program, recycling its 500,000th drum. This environmental achievement has been made possible thanks to the support of local farmers, council and IMPACT Community Services.

The program commenced in the Bundaberg region in 1999 with a collection at Meadowvale when 30 farmers delivered over 2000 containers. The program has had significant change since those early days and now this area has possibly the best service for growers in Australia.

Council waste sites all receive drums when open and to complement this, an on farm collection service is delivered by IMPACT staff to make drum recycling as easy as possible. In recent years around 40,000 drums have been delivered to the program annually with the on farm collection service responsible for almost half of the drums received.

The environment is the major winner of improved program participation and with Great Barrier Reef authorities pressing for greater compliance drumMUSTER assists landholders in meeting their environmental obligations. Quality Assurance programs can be complimented by the drumMUSTER receipt which is available to all participants.

The number of drums recycled in the Bundaberg region equates to over 550 tons of steel and plastic diverted from landfill or other less desirable destinations. This is a significant saving for local ratepayers in landfill space and the costs incurred. All drums receive a new life being recycled into products such as concrete support products and wheelie bins.

‘I congratulate all growers and chemical users who have contributed to the result and encourage them to keep up the great work and encourage any others who are not currently involved to get on board and head towards the next half million drums’ said Colin Hoey, drumMUSTER Regional Consultant.

Bundaberg Regional Council’s Waste and Recycling portfolio spokesperson Cr Scott Rowleson said it was pleasing to see the Material Recovery Facility reach this significant milestone. “It is very rewarding to work with drumMUSTER, facility manager IMPACT and local farmers to recycle such large quantities of what is a valuable resource,” Cr Rowleson said. As of early April, we had actually recycled 508,000 drums as part of this program with 272,000 of those collected through Impact’s on-farm collection service. There is no doubt that this has proven a win for everyone involved. Not only is it an excellent environmental outcome, but it offers greater convenience for farmers in disposing of chemical drums and is a source of income for Impact which is a registered Australian Disability Enterprise.”

IMPACT Community Service’s Tim Van Kooten, who manages Council’s Material Recovery Facility, said the drumMUSTER initiative had been well-received by local farmers.

“We have had excellent participation in this program and interest in our on-farm collection service continues to grow,” Tim said. Provided farmers have a minimum of 200 drums to recycle, one of our workers will go to the farm and take care of the removal of the drums. If farmers have smaller quantities of drums for recycling, these can be delivered to the facility on University Drive between 6am and 4pm Monday to Thursday and 6am to 3.30pm on Friday. Currently we have 75 bales of drums on site ready to sell, with each bale made up of approximately 200 drums.”

Cr Rowleson encouraged any farmers who would like to take advantage of the on-farm collection service to contact the Material Recovery Facility on 4155 3411. “I would also encourage any farmers who have large quantities of other recyclable items to speak to staff at the facility about additional recycling opportunities.”

Council has sites at Avondale, Bundaberg, Booyal, Childers, Meadowvale, Qunaba, South Kolan and Tirroan receiving drums during open hours. Please ensure all drums are free of chemical residue and have the lids removed.