For each of the 5 categories, there was a winner and 2 honourable mentions. These were drawn from a field of 25 finalists and all nominations received were of a high standard and reflected the good work being done by a range of people across multiple communities of interest.
Waste Wise Schools category - Winner - Badgingarra Primary School
Badgingarra Primary School is a fine example of delivering a community service that extends the sustainability programs within the school to well beyond. What began as an invitation from the local council to setup a waste recycling centre for the Badgingarra community for the Shire over 10 years ago has resulted in a fully functional operation. The depot was designed by students and collection bins built by the students. Its operation is carried out by the school and students. The centre is also open to the community to deposit their recyclable materials at any time free of charge so offering a service outside the local council refuse site which is only open two half days a week.
A large proportion of the plastics at their Recycling Centre are reused through the school in its learning program and then returned to the centre for recycling. When plastic shopping bags were in use the centre successfully reused these through the school and was able to develop ways of remaking them into sporting equipment by heat shrinking them into plastic bottles to make bats and racquets. In the eleven years of operation the community has continued to use and support the centre to recycle their materials, taking care to place their materials into the correct containers and keeping the centre tidy and clean.
They've been able to recycle and save from landfill in a year:
- 10 tonnes glass
- >52 cubic metre plastic milk bottles
- >52 cubic metre Cardboard
- 24 cubic metre newspaper
- 24 cubic metre steel cans
- >14 cubic metre other plastics
- Aluminium cans >1tonne
- Batteries >4 tonnes
Allan Whittome submitted the school's nomination and together with Principal James Cassin, attended the awards presentation dinner on 31 August. Allan is shown in the photo below accepting his cheque from Cordia Johnson at Chevron Australia, with Hon Minister Bill Marmion MLA on the left and Marcus Geisler, Chairman of the Waste Authority on the right.
Community category - Winner - Bus Preservation Society of WA
The Bus Preservation Society is one of those quiet achievers. As it’s name suggests, this volunteer community group restore historic Perth buses by collecting used batteries from a number of locations to minimise storage of hazardous waste on premises and to raise funds. Used batteries usually sit around in storage areas, often in the weather and for a considerable length of time. As a result the batteries degrade, with the possibility of leaching acid or other toxic elements into drainage systems or into the ground water. Some are simply thrown out eventually. Not if the society has anything to do with it! Over a 17 year period, some 750 tonnes of batteries have been retrieved from storage at premises.
Developing its own network of suppliers resulted in some 30 organisations giving them batteries. Additional batteries were received from members, friends and individuals. BPSWA volunteers approached trucking companies, earthmovers, golf clubs, service stations, bus operators etc. and members for batteries. In the early years of the recycling project, a large quantity of very old batteries that had been stored for years were uncovered - including six volt/rubber cased batteries. They sell these to a licensed Hazardous Waste Recycler.
Business category - Winner - Waste not Wood not
A local timber joiner that was generating significant volumes of waste sawdust has provided the materials for an environmentally responsible firewood alternative to raw timber. Local residents benefit, in particular the elderly and less able bodied people who now have access to a physically manageable supply of firewood, that is dry, safe to use and does not require cutting to smaller pieces.
A conversation that lead to a business idea, Waste not Wood not has shown that there are niche markets for all sorts of waste materials and turning sawdust briquettes into an alternative firewood source has a triple action benefit, reducing costs for the waste generator, reusing a waste material and lowering transport costs and environmental damage from sourcing fire wood. The product has been endorsed for use in small pizza ovens by a local pizza oven supplier and is now sold from 4 local retail outlets as well as from their premises in Beaconsfield.
Anna Kelly and business partner Raf Cammarano enjoying the win
Government category - Winner - Botanical Gardens and Parks Authority
A winner due to their new green waste recycling program in Kings Park, where all green waste produced in this 400 hectare park is composted on site and recycled as mulch which is then used throughout garden areas. Up to 2,000 cubic metres of bulk green waste is produced annually.
The special mulch from waste is composted according to Australian Standard: 4454-2003 eliminating two target pathogens harmful to plant growth - dieback and honey fungus. This was a critical requirement to ensure the ongoing protection of the significant plant collections in Kings Park and Botanic Garden. The trial proved the methodology successful and full scale green waste composting and recycling on site is now in progress, eliminating the need for off-site disposal – zero green waste!
Waste Champion category - Winner - Colin Leek, Curtin University
Through local research and trials of recycled C&D materials in road construction, Colin contributed to the development of specifications for the use of recycled aggregates in road base. These initiatives resulted in Specification 501 Pavements, thereby increasing the market for recycled aggregates in WA.
Colin is passionate about resource efficiency and changing the behaviour and attitudes of policy makers, engineers and procurement managers in local and state government bodies towards the use of recycled materials in civil works projects. His list of achievements are many including developing specifications for Canning requiring that all asphalt contain a minimum of 10% recycled asphalt and 5% recycled container glass and the use of recycled tyres in retaining walls. He has persevered in a field of engineering adverse to risk and change. He is known throughout the recycling industry as the “go-to” person on any technical matter regarding recycled aggregates.