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drumMUSTER: supporting local communities

Published: 08-03-2013

Every year more and more community groups across Western Australia are joining drumMUSTER to help improve the quality of life and environment in their local towns.

More than 20 groups across the state hold drumMUSTER collections for farmers and waste holders who are looking to get rid of their empty and clean agvet chemical containers.

drumMUSTER rewards groups by paying  them 25 cents for each drum they inspect.

[slidepress gallery=’newdegate’]

Since 2005, the Newdegate Community Development Association has helped raised more than $20,000 for their small wheatbelt town.

Committee member Roz Lloyd said their very first collection was sorting through a stockpile of more than 15,000 drums.

“We did an enormous amount of drums when we first started, which included a huge stockpile that immediately brought in $8,000 for our group. $5,000 of that went to the tennis court resurfacing,” she said.

“We could have never done that without the drumMUSTER money,” she said. “The group now takes in about $2,000-$3,000 a year just from inspecting drums.”

Over the years the Newdegate group has improved their local children’s playground equipment and erected a purpose-built gazebo shelter to house the historic Lanz Bulldog tractor that was donated to the community by the Newdegate Machinery Field Days committee.

They’re now in the planning stages to erect a statue of John Holland, the intrepid explorer who made his way on foot from Broomehill to the Coolgardie goldfields via the Newdegate area in 1893.

Nearly a third of all sites across the state are run by groups like Newdegate, including Lions’ Clubs, P&C groups, sporting clubs and church organisations.

During the 2011-12 financial year, more than $7,000 was paid back to these groups for their efforts.

South Western Australia drumMUSTER Consultant Graeme Passmore said community group involvement has helped improve access to the drumMUSTER program.

“It’s made it just that much easier for farmers to reach their on farm waste management goals,” he said.

“Sustainable waste management practices are an essential component when striving for positive environmental outcomes and high levels of safety and food quality.”

In the lead up to seeding, it is a great time to think about clearing out the drums from last season.

Here are some tips to help make drumMUSTER even easier to use:

  • Set up a small weld mesh ring to help hold drums before taking them in (usually every couple of months).
  • Make a cage the size of the ute so it is just a matter of lifting it on and driving to town when the opportunity arises.
  • Remember to rinse all drums. Pierce metal drums to allow for better air-flow after rinsing. Plastic drums also need to have lids off before delivering.

Since 1999, drumMUSTER has collected more than 20 million drums nation-wide. That represents more than 25,000 tonnes of waste avoiding landfill and being recycled into new and useful things again, like plastic cable covers, wheelie bins and pipes.

For any further information on the drumMUSTER program, call 1800 008 707 or log on to For local questions call South Western Australia drumMUSTER Consultant Graeme Passmore on 0429 933 307.