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Lucky SA farmer returns 3 millionth drum

Published: 23-10-2012

Less than 100 empty agvet chemical containers returned by a farmer have helped South Australia crack the 3 million drum record last Wednesday.

The lucky deliverer, Sheldon Keller from Robertstown, had no idea he was holding the state’s 3 millionth drum when he drove in with 97 of his drums ready to be recycled and turned into new things through drumMUSTER.

Sheldon, who has been farming in the Goyder region all his life, said drumMUSTER was the only solution to getting rid of his unwanted chemical containers.

“I‘ve been using drumMUSTER for about six years, now,” he said. “It keeps the farm tidy. There’s no other way of disposing them that’s environmentally friendly.”

The milestone drum was dropped off at Eudunda Transfer Station, one of the three sites run by Goyder CouncildrumMUSTER inspector John James, who was there on hand to inspect Sheldon’s drums.

“Sheldon’s drums are always clean. It’s about good presentation, and he does it well,” he said.

“Farmers go out of their way to help. I’m of the old school: whatever you put into the environment you take out the waste, it’s that easy.”

Before Sheldon arrived a local farmer had dropped off 1040 drums, missing out on retuning the 3 millionth drum by just a handful.

Sheldon counts himself lucky to achieve the honour.  He said he had been getting rid of his drums regularly through the program.

“It’s easy enough; you just make a phone call and book in a time. There are still drums lying around on people’s farms. We pay the disposal levy when you buy the chemical so you might as well use it.”

Since starting with the program in mid-2000, Eudunda has seen close to 29,000 containers collected at its gates.

John said with the improved rate of collections at the site thedrumMUSTER compound may need to be extended to cope with the huge amount drums.

“We’ll have to think about maybe extending it outwards so we can fit more drums in,” he said. “At the moment it’s fine, but we may need to expand soon.”

Farmers, growers and chemical users across South Australia have officially collected 3.006 million drums, or 3700 tonnes of waste, during the 13 years the state has been a part of the program.

drumMUSTER presented Sheldon with a $250 gift voucher to his local Agsafe Accredited reseller at Landmark Eudunda to say thanks for his support.

A certificate of appreciation was also presented to John James who received it on behalf of Goyder Regional Council.

The milestone comes off the back of a successful year fordrumMUSTER which collected its 20 millionth drum nation-wide last month.

That represents more than 25,000 tonnes of waste avoiding landfill and in turn being recycled into new and useful things again, like plastic cable covers, wheelie bins and cement reinforcing bar chairs.

For any further information on the drumMUSTER program, call 1800 008 707 or log on to For all local enquiries, get in touch with drumMUSTER’s new South Australia Consultant, David Jesse on 0409 834 113.