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drumMUSTER’s ‘on-going’ success in South Australia

Published: 02-08-2013

Chemical container recycling is now easier for South Australia’s farmers after two local councils turn their drumMUSTER sites to on-going collections.

For more than a decade, councils across the state held drumMUSTER collection days only a few times a year for farmers looking to get rid of their empty chemical containers.

But a rise in a demand for the recycling program has seen councils having to run drumMUSTER more frequently to service farmers and chemical users.

Mid Murray Council Health Services Manager Caroline Thomas said it was only a matter of time before the council decided to give local farmers a regular drumMUSTER service.

“We used to hold a collection once a year at our six waste transfer sites, but it was not suitable for the farmers,” she said. “Every year we’ve run drumMUSTER the feedback we get from growers is that it’s hard to get to. An ongoing collection makes it easier for them.”

Caroline said she’ll monitor the new arrangements for the next six months on a trial basis at four of Council’s waste transfer stations.

“While we still need a permanent arrangement for farmers, this trial will sort out teething problems and will allow us to seek feedback from farmers,” she said.

For the past 13 years, Barossa Council has held two drumMUSTER collection days a year to service more than 750 grape growers who supply 200 wineries.

South Australia drumMUSTER Consultant David Jesse said with the new arrangements to the drumMUSTER site at Nuri Dump, growers can now drop off their drums five and half days a week.

“These arrangements prove that recycling your empty and eligible chemical containers gets easier every year,” he said.

“The new open times mean fewer farmers are missing out on drumMUSTERs that may occur on days that were inconvenient for them.”

David said he’s confident councils who still provide drumMUSTER on nominated days will soon move to a regular service.

“While not all councils have made these arrangements, I can see more coming on-board in the near future,” he said.

“We’re working with waste managers and councillors on a daily basis to make sure farmers and growers are getting the service they want.”

Since 1999, drumMUSTER has collected more than 21 million drums nation-wide. That represents more than 26,000 tonnes of waste avoiding landfill and being recycled into new and useful things again, like plastic cable covers, wheelie bins and pipes.

Other councils across South Australia continue to hold drumMUSTERs every year through one-off collection days a year in July and October. Check the website or contact your local council for more details.