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20 millionth drum milestone in sight

Published: 07-08-2012

Records are made to be broken and drumMUSTER is well on its way to smashing a milestone by getting ready to collect its 20 millionth container in a few months time.

So far the industry led waste reduction initiative to recycle non-returnable agvet chemical containers has collected and recycled 19.7 million containers since it began in 1999.

Farmers and chemical users deserve a huge pat on the back for helping keep more than 24,735 tonnes of material from ending up in landfill. That’s enough waste to fill a four kilometre long coal train!

drumMUSTER is now more popular than ever with 60 new recycling facilities and a handful of new community groups including Landcare associations, charities and local sporting clubs who have jumped onboard in the past year.

Ten new manufacturers have voluntarily signed an agreement to participate in the Industry Waste Reduction Scheme with Agstewardship Australia, who are responsible for overseeing the program.

Right now there are more than 760 collection sites scattered across the country run by more than 450 councils. Together they have held 30,607 collections nationwide.

drumMUSTER National Program Manager Allan McGann said the program has come a long way since its first collection in early 1999.

“The program has gone from strength to strength. It took us eight years to collect our first 10 million drums. In little under five years we would have collected a further 10 million,” he said.

“This goes to show the growing support drumMUSTER has garnered over the past 13 years. We’ve established ourselves as a valuable program for farmers and growers and we’re here to stay.”

Once collected, the containers are shredded or granulated and transformed into practical items such as plastic cable covers, wheelie bins and cement reinforcing bar chairs.

The program is hoping to reach huge milestones again in South Australia this year after a record season in 2011 which saw more than 250,000 drums recycled during the post-emerging spray period.

Queensland has also smashed its own records after Toowoomba Regional Council collected more than half a million drumMUSTER drums.

About 654 tonnes of plastic and metal drums has been collected and recycled from sites across the Toowoomba region. The achievement comes after neighbouring council Western Downs Regional surpassed half a million drums collected with 661,000 and Moree Plains Shire Council in NSW reached 833,000.

In Victoria Central Murray Regional Waste Management Group has accepted an award for helping collect more than one million agvet chemical containers for recycling through drumMUSTER. The passionate locals are responsible for nearly a third of all containers recycled through the program in Victoria.

In Tasmania support for drumMUSTER went a long way for the Wynyard Waste Transfer Station after winning the Australian Tidy Town’s Resource Recovery and Waste Management Award. Since starting the drumMUSTER program in 2001, the site has collected more than 10,000 drums.

In NSW more and more drumMUSTER inspectors are being trained to accept clean drums into drumMUSTER compounds, including in Kempsey which saw three inspectors take on the job. They’ll join the 3300 inspectors who do the job nationally.

While in WA more community groups are singing up, including the Northampton Lions Club. Residents from all walks of life have worked together to make sure that empty agvet chemical containers used in the community are conveniently collected for recycling.

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