In conjunction with the Hawkesbury District Agriculture Association and EnviroCom Australia, Hawkesbury City Council conducted a public place recycling program, the first of its kind, at this year’s Hawkesbury Show in April.
In an effort to make this year’s event a more sustainable one, a number of measures were put in place to recover as much recyclable material as possible from the waste generated during the three day event.
These measures included ‘Recycling Rovers’, who engaged with the crowds and randomly rewarded patrons with gift vouchers when observed to be disposing of their waste material correctly. The Recycling Rovers were also handing out flyers and answering questions from the public on how to recycle right.
There were also family activities conducted at the Hawkesbury City Council tent at the Show by trained waste educators that involved running “Recycling Trivia” and a “Sort it Out” quiz with prizes awarded to winners.
Throughout the event, visual bin inspections were conducted by the Recycling Rovers. Details of whether correct materials were being placed in the correct bins were recorded. The results from these inspections found low levels of material being placed in the wrong bin, resulting in minimal amounts of recyclable material ending up in landfill and a high amount of materials being recycled.
There are still improvements to be made, with some food and soft plastic wrapping being placed in recycling bins, as well as cans and other recyclables that were placed in garbage bins.
Volunteers from the Oakville Rural Fire Service managed the emptying and maintenance of the waste and recycling bins over the three days. This onerous task involved placement of the bins in strategic locations where the most waste was being generated, ensuring that there was access to a recycling bin next to each garbage bin, and emptying of the bins when they became full so that the contents could be either recycled or disposed of to avoid litter.
The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Kim Ford, was pleased with the outcomes of the program. ‘’Not only was this year’s Hawkesbury Show a great event for the public, but it was a huge success in terms of achieving a successful public place recycling program in the Hawkesbury, a great start for sustainable events in years to come.’’
This program was a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded by the waste levy.