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drumMUSTER’s silent hero

Published: 13-06-2012

Throughout the country, hundreds of gifted and passionate people are helping to keep their land safe and clean through drumMUSTER. Perry Ruffels from Veolia Environmental Services is one of those talented people.

Three years ago, Perry moved into logistics after driving collection trucks for drumMUSTER. After making the switch he became an unofficial drumMUSTER guru, organising a team of eight drivers to do collections across the apple isle.

Perry was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for all his efforts with theprogram and for being a drumMUSTER champion.

“It’s something we like being involved with because it takes all the plastic away from landfill so there’s no nasty chemical drums lying around the place,” he said.

“It comes back into our system where it’s turned into something useful. From the top end all the way down, it all just works really, really well. I reckon it’s a great thing for everyone involved.”

Veolia provides collection services for drumMUSTER from transfer stations all over Tasmania and more recently for spraying contractors who don’t have time to haul them to collection sites.

With seven years under his belt and complete with drum inspector training, Perry has been the go-to guy for all things drumMUSTER.

And his skill comes in handy for the huge amounts of drums the company collects and crushes.

“When we go out, we sometimes pick up two loads and a load is about 1500 drums, so  we can be picking up about 3000 containers at a time,” he said.

Perry said the containers are crushed into bales that are then shipped off for recycling.

“I think each of the bales weighs about two tonnes. It’s a pretty tight crush pushed into that! Then they shoot them into a container and they’re off,” he said.

Perry said he’s proud in what he does, especially when seeing his handy work in the most unlikely places.

“I remember the first time I went to Malaysia and we got on a tour bus going past this place and it had bales and bales of plastic and I thought ‘what’s that?’”

“I asked our recycling manager when I got back and he said that would have been a lot of our stuff there. It’s all over the world really, in places that might not have their own resources, so they’ve got to find them.”

For any further information on the drumMUSTER program, call 1800 008 707 or log on to