Category winners of the Infinity Awards for 2014
From a pool of 29 finalists some 17 recipients took delivery of their award on Friday 12 September. 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.
Category Winners - (L to R) Marcus Geisler, Authority Chairman; Simon Whitehouse, Karratha Enviro Group; Kirsty Grey and Graeme Lockhardt, WA Police; Rebecca Brown, WALGA; The Hon Albert Jacob, Minister for Environment; Cathy Wright and Peter Callaghan, Kojonup District High School; Tony Battersby & Margaret Macindoe; City of Bunbury/Shire of Capel
Waste Wise Schools category - Kojonup District High School
The school has carried the entire shire along with them on the journey of reducing waste and becoming more sustainable.
Teaming up with the shire and company that handles their community's waste facility they've become a hub for sustainable practices and the art of re-using materials. Just some of their proactive work includes such things as fridge magnets, a student produced DVD, Garden Gurus and the Green Team providing compost and worm farm fertiliser to produce vegetables for the canteen, establishing a battery recycling program for households and installing paper/cardboard recycling bins in every classroom.
Blessed with a 480 acre farm they can integrate their waste education into the school in a very practical way and even have recycling and chook bins placed alongside their waste bins in the playgrounds and students are encouraged to reduce the amount of waste by placing appropriate materials in the correct bins
Peter Callaghan, Principal; Cathy Wright, Sustainability Teacher; Marcus Geisler; Cordia Johnson (Chevron) with the Hon Albert Jacob, Minister for Environment
The Waste Wise Schools category was sponsored by Chevron and we thank them for their support as a Platinum Sponsor.
Community category - Karratha Enviro Group
This program has been developed for a town where there are no community wide messages about waste reduction and reuse and few, if any, waste reuse or minimisation services.
As such, the group has tried to focus on core aspects of how a community would reuse ‘waste’.
Simon Whitehouse accepts the cheque and certificate from Marcus Geisler and the Hon Albert Jacob, Minister for Environment
This has led to a series of activities which include the ‘Consumed’ Recycled Art Competition; the Plastic Bag Free Karratha campaign; monthly market stalls promoting plastic bag alternatives and composting systems; movie nights; CARE for Karratha clean-ups; community forums; development of a collection system for green waste from businesses and the completion of a demonstration ‘reuse’ community garden constructed using construction and industrial waste commonly found within the town.
Business category - ABN Group
The Baldivis Quarter a residential estate of 22.5 hectares where 90 per cent of building waste has been recycled or re-used – removing more than 10,000 m3 of potential landfill waste. This was achieved through site preparation; reuse of sand at the slab scrape stage; managing surplus building materials and mandatory recycling on site. This has reduced costs and improved the safety of the site. Their partnership with Earthcare Recycling (a Highly Commended winner) and their closed-loop separation system transformed the waste outcomes.
Other benefits include:
- Reduced truck movements on the estate
- Waste/material scheduling reporting
- Trade contractor education
- Overall estate presentation
Accepting the award (L to R) is Pete Robbins, ABN Group; Marcus Geisler; Sharon Russell, Westpac and the Hon Albert Jacob, Minister for Environment.
The Business category was sponsored by Westpac and we thank them for their support as a Silver Sponsor.
State Government category - Western Australia Police
A number of complimentary programs to address a range of waste issues have set a welcome precedent for a State Government agency. These include:
- replacing old fluro lighting components with LEDs but mandating the proper recycling of old fittings to remove PCBs, mercury, glass, aluminium, phosphor
- Provision of recycling bins in the kitchens/cafeteria and degradable bin liners
- Elimination of paper towels in bathrooms
- Supply chain alterations affecting 23,500 packages of uniforms now eliminate excess packaging and uses degradable satchels
Major cost savings accompanies these changes to their waste signature and is proof that an agency can make significant improvements to the way they do their business.
(L to R) Marcus Geisler; Graeme Lockhart and Kirsty Grey accepting their award and cheque from the Hon Albert Jacob, Minister for Environment
Local Government category - City of Bunbury/Shire of Capel
By introducing a third bin for organic waste collection (including food waste) that is processed at a regional council-owned facility, waste diversion from landfill has increased to above 2020 targets and enabled a high quality compost to be produced that meets Australian Standards.
A contamination management program was introduced resulting in low contamination levels of about 5%. One of the key aspects of this initiative was a comprehensive information/engagement strategy that improved acceptance and a series of waste audits to reduce contamination. A number of communication techniques involving radio, print, web, public place displays and face to face encounters ensured a well informed public.
Margaret Macindoe; Marcus Geisler; Tony Battersby share winning smiles with the Hon Albert Jacob, Minister for Environment
Waste Champion category - Rebecca Brown
With her hands in many pies and able to wear many hats, Rebecca has immersed herself in the waste management industry with unbridled enthusiasm over the past 10 years. Currently President of the WA chapter of the Waste Management Association, she is also WALGA's Manager of Waste and has been a serving member of many related committees. One of her great strengths is bringing people together and working through constructive dialogue that delivers worthwhile outcomes.
A beaming Rebecca Brown between Marcus Geisler and the Hon Albert Jacob, Minister for Environment