Innovative Ways To Work With Waste

A NATIONAL award for Innovation in Waste has been handed down to Great Lakes Council and Resource Recovery for their work with the socially disadvantaged.

Through council, landfill contractor Resource Recovery provides employment opportunities for socially disadvantaged and long term unemployed through partnering with government agencies.

Training and coaching is provided in key landfill operations including plant operations, computer and weighbridge operations, customer service, retail sales and recycling.

Last year, a three year grant project called The Green began in partnership with Resource Recovery and this project has scooped the Local Government Innovation in Waste Award 2011.

The Green is an all-of-community project which will showcase environ-mentally sustainable living practices with a focus on re-using, recycling and up-cycling.

It will include a shopfront incubator for new green enterprises along with construction of waterwise, permaculture, native and childrens gardens and structures and will provide environ-mental education in waste avoidance, re-use, water and energy use minimisation.

“The contribution this project makes to environmentally sustainable living practices is exciting,” council’s director of Environment and Planning, Lisa Schiff said.

“The project breaks new ground in allowing the community to take an active role in managing its part in the chain of waste recovery.

Other ideas being considered under the project are a community cafe, grey water systems, bamboo farming, alter-native power generation, ecotours, facilities for sports and hobbies, e-waste facility, chicken tractor, driver-
training and construction of public access pathways connecting to Darawank Wetlands, the beach and Tuncurry Skate Park.

“In the past many councils have con-sidered these initiatives come with a risk too high to consider,” council’s manager of Waste, Health and Regulatory Services John Cavanagh said.

“However it has been proven that by having a contractor whose key objectives include training and rehabilitation of the socially disadvantaged and long term unemployed and a council willing to work with that, it is achievable and exceptionally rewarding.

“It is our experience that neither contract performance or Occupational Health and Safety are compromised, and we are pleased with the positive community outcomes that can be achieved.”

-Advocate News, 5 May 2011

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