Campaspe event recycling trailer

The Shire of Campaspe’s event recycling trailer provides recycling bins in public places and community events in Campaspe where permanent infrastructure cannot be supported. The trailer is able to carry twelve 240L recycling bins which are labelled with best practice public place recycling signage.

 

Organisation Snapshot

The Shire of Campaspe is located on the Murray River in northern Victoria. Covering an area of 4,525 square kilometres, Campaspe has a population of 36,365 (2011 Census). The Shire encompasses the towns of Echuca, Kyabram, Rochester, Tongala and Rushworth and key industries include tourism, food growing and processing, wool production, aquaculture and floriculture.  

Background

Although householders in Campaspe have been recycling successfully for many years, there are still public areas that lack recycling infrastructure, thus condemning many valuable recyclable materials to landfill.  Community events were identified as a public arena where many recyclable materials are generated and lacking in recycling infrastructure, so the idea of portable temporary recycling infrastructure was raised. Community event managers of not-for-profit organisations have historically booked waste bins through the Shire for their events but for the most part, not opted for recycling bins.

Project  

The project aimed to provide a simple, user-friendly system for temporary public place recycling in Campaspe – an event recycling trailer. The trailer can be used anywhere but was designed particularly for Shire events. The trailer, which contains twelve recycling bins, was designed and built by a local contractor to the Shires’ specifications.

When in use, the Shire set the following goals to measure the effectiveness of the system:

  • 100% resource recovery (6,300kg/year)
  • accepted contamination rate of 30%
  • litter reduction target of 10% (littering rates at events were already quite low).

These goals were measured using waste and recycling bin audits after each event to determine the volume/weight of recyclables captured and the contamination rates in both the waste bins (recyclable items observed) and the recycle bins (waste items observed). These audits were undertaken by the Shire of Campaspe with the assistance of Ellwaste, who sorted and audited the recyclables at their material recovery facility, see image.

Outcomes

As there were minimal or no recycle bins available at events before this project, by providing infrastructure recycling at all events recycling increased by 100%. Educational messages and signage have ensured that contamination of recycle bins did not exceed 14% and was as little as 0.5% at one event in Echuca.

The recycling trailer facilitated the successful diversion of an average of 61% of materials from landfill at the events which were audited. One event, the Echuca Triathlon, saw a 75% diversion rate of all waste and recyclable materials generated at the event from landfill.

Community managers are now requesting the recycling trailer at their events and many people in the community are talking about having seen the recycling trailer and bins at events around the Shire. The project was an excellent way to promote recycling in all areas of the Shire since the trailer is mobile and is not fixed to any one place. The more events the trailer and bins appear at throughout the year will assist in increasing the promotion of how and why to recycle in the Shire.

“The first step to achieving resource recovery at events is to have the infrastructure in place to do so. The event recycling trailer allowed this to occur.”
Sheri Streilein, Environmental Projects Officer - Education

Challenges

In order to achieve maximum recycling at events, waste bins were placed directly beside the recycle bins to encourage recycling. It was observed that if waste and recycling bins were not placed side-by-side, people would not walk to the correct bin, and would place their waste or recyclable item into the bin nearest to them.

Presenting the waste and recycle bins side-by-side gave people the choice to use the correct bin and, as seen in the low contamination rates observed during the project, this is already working.

Having the proper infrastructure is not enough however to encourage maximum recovery rates at events. Resource recovery has undergone many changes over the past few years and people are not sure which items can be recycled.

The bins on the trailer meet the Australian Standards for bin colours, table 1, (AS4123.7-2006 mobile waste containers - Part 7: colours, markings and designation requirements) and matching signage was used, indicating which items are recyclable and which items are not.

Table 1 Colour designations for common waste categories

 

 

Category

 

Bin colour

 

Bin lid colour

 

Waste

 

Dark green / black

 

Red

 

Recycling (mixed)

 

Dark green / black

 

Yellow

 

Paper/Cardboard

 

Dark green / black

 

Blue

 

Organics (food & garden)

 

Dark green / black

 

Lime Green

 

It was found that additional signage on the bins was needed to ensure that signage was visible from all angles when the bins were in use.

Finally, achieving maximum resource recovery at events is an ongoing task and clear communication with waste contractors and event managers regarding bin delivery to events, quantity needed and placement is needed.

Next steps

The use of the event recycling trailer has been embedded in Campaspe’s event strategy for community events and will be used for all future events booked through the Shire. Around 50 to 80 events are booked through the Shire each year for not-for-profit community events.

Previously, community event managers booked waste bins through the Shire for their events and although groups were given the option of booking recycling bins at their events, only 9% of events booked through the Shire in 2013 opted for recycle bins at their event. The event recycling trailer removes the barrier of cost and makes recycling at community events accessible and convenient.

Sheri Streilein, Environmental Projects Officer – Education
s.streilein@campaspe.vic.gov.au

 

Published by Sustainability Victoria Campaspe event recycling trailer – facilitating recycling at Shire events
© Sustainability Victoria, September 2015