Waste NoT Awards 2020 Winners
The winners of the seventh annual Waste NoT awards have been announced, with nine projects selected across several categories for their innovative waste management initiatives in Northern Tasmania. Congratulations everyone!
Early Learners Category: Break O’Day Child and Family Centre
The Centre set up composting and worm farms on the site with the contents recycled into the centre’s gardens. The centre’s bins have been labelled, encouraging recycling and the centre’s arts and crafts projects consist of recycled materials. Staff have swapped from paper towel to use reusable cloths and are delivering training to make bees-wax wraps, moisturisers, lip balms, bath bombs and face scrubs. They also support and encourage families to take garden cuttings and seeds from the garden to increase home-cooked food rather than packaged snacks and meals. These programs are now ongoing and are practiced day-to-day, so the children learn how to reduce waste from the moment they walk and talk.
Primary School Category: Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School
The Sustainability at Our Lady of Mercy project involved installing source separation bins (general waste, green waste and recycling) around the school to promote recycling and sustainability. The green waste is turned into compost to use on the school’s garden and the SRC and ECO leaders work with staff and students to implement this project through advertising, including newsletters and assembly presentations, while the class teachers have been promoting the project in the classroom and around the school. A sustainability club has been formed who meet twice a week in which members are taking further care of the school grounds and the environment in collaboration with the community.
Secondary School Category: Kings Meadows High School
A project initiated by their Year 9 students, which set up an additional recycling program for a school-wide white paper collection through a local waste management contractor. This project was extended to capture used paper resources, which are disposed of at the end of the term when students clean out their lockers. At the same time, other items were separated such as water bottles, pencil cases and stationery and students identified whether they were recyclable or could be reused.
Colleges/Tertiary Institutions Category: University of Tasmania
The University established a network of recycling walls throughout the campuses with three walls being located at the Newnham and Inveresk sites. The walls have been created using old filing cabinets, which were sourced from their furniture re-use program with the aim of encouraging staff and students to recycle difficult-to-recycle items such as small e-waste, batteries and toothbrushes. Filing cabinets do not have much use at the University nowadays due to the widespread use of electronic files. UTAS made good use of their stockpile in 2020 to extetnd the network and now there are 20 recycling walls across the two campus sites with demands still coming in from staff and students to have them installed in departments and student living areas. The community can also now get involved with the UTAS recycling walls because they are listed as Teracycle Community Collection hubs, allowing the public to drop off their items too.
Small – Medium Organisations Category: Panama Productions
The 2020 Panama Music Festival was successful in achieving zero waste. To meet this goal, Panama had a dedicated team of volunteers – called the Zero Waste Team – who had a designated sorting area where they would sort the waste into recycling or compost and pull out any contamination. This, combined with better targeted signage at key areas, reduced the amount of contamination. They also had reusable cups and crockery, which was washed and reused at the event using a commercial mobile glass washer.
Large Organisations Category: Hydro Tasmania
Set a target of diverting 95 per cent of their waste from landfill by the end of December 2021 by creating a roadmap called “Too Good To Waste”, which is engaging while also setting achievable goals for the organisation. To start the roadmap, Hydro Group conducted 13 site waste audits across the state, which revealed 90 per cent of their waste could be diverted from landfill. The roadmap also focuses on shifting behaviours, reframing waste as a commodity and enacting a circular culture within the organisation. Actions underway include targeting specific materials to reduce or remove from their waste streams, through to education and communication programs to influence the wider community. The roadmap also outlines how they will measure and track their progress, including regular audits, employee engagement and periodic reviews.
Individuals Category: Isaac Williams Design Objects
A project called “Rebirthed”, which began as a design challenge to maximise the life of a collection of furniture destined for landfill. Originally, the project focused on presenting a range of cork/steel and timber furniture items but has since expanded to include a collection of wallets and bags as a way of keeping the usable sections of the old upholstery away from landfill as well. The stitching in wallets is made from recycled bike tyres. The designs help change perceptions and shift the perspective around waste to instead look at it as a resource.
Not-For-Profit/Community Group Category: Northern Suburbs Community Centre
Awarded for many of their waste reduction activities at the centre, including the design and development of 5 mobile worm farms (AKA – the Worm-a-bago) which was offered as a competition prize for high schools and colleges. The Worm-a-bagos come with education material including ‘how to’ videos that focus on the benefits of worm farms in the garden. They have also created an upcycled bath tub worm farm for their own use. Sawdust from The Shed at Rocherlea is used as garden mulch and the garden beds are made of recycled pallets, fence palings, apple crates and IBC containers. Upcycled corrugated iron, pallets and fence palings were used to make a four-bay composting system. Growing fresh foods in the garden supports the centre’s sharing table and is used in the kitchen to prepare meals. This also includes 180 frozen meals for emergency food relief, which in itself generates 30 litres of organic waste a week. A permaculture course had been introduced into the neighbourhood houses, which is an effective mechanism to introduce waste reduction concepts. They also have a shared learning arrangement with UTAS and TasTAFE for sustainability and workplace pathway students to visit the site and be involved with the programs on offer. They have a swap shop currently under development as well as a 10-page education resource, which is due for release soon and will be available on the NSCC website.
State/Local Government Category and Overall 2020 Winner: Launceston General Hospital (Food Services Department)
The food waste recovery project, a first of its kind in Tasmania. The LGH food services department provides 20,000 meals to patients, staff and visitors each week. The project has enabled the team to divert 35 wheelie bins or 1750kg of food waste from landfill every week by initiating composting. The project is innovative and was made possible by engaging with a range of stakeholders including the public and private sector, waste contractors and consumers. The project involved rethinking food types, supply chains and compliance with regulatory frameworks such as the food standards code. The reduction in methane emissions by composting the hospital’s food waste is equal to removing five cars from our roads each year. LGH Food Services is implementing, where possible, more eco-friendly or compostable packaging such as takeaway cups, sandwich packets and straws – all of which can now be composted alongside the food waste.