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Drum collection ramps up as school reaps benefits

Published: 23-09-2013

A call has gone out to Wimmera farmers to bring in their empty agvet chemical containers to drumMUSTER to help out local community groups like St Patrick’s Primary.

The primary school in Nhill raises more than $2,000 a year from drum collections they host for local growers in the region.

Local farmer and St Pat’s drumMUSTER organiser Brett Wheaton said the school runs five collection sites in Nhill.

Brett said parents and volunteers raised $3,280 for the school last month after collecting 13,121 drums.

“The sites are on private properties and service all the local farmers so we’re on call all the time. People call up and ask ‘are you free today or tomorrow?’ and we can make an arrangement,” he said.

Brett said the majority of growers in the region use drumMUSTER. He said the money goes towards new equipment for the school.

drumMUSTER is a great asset for the community,” he said. “People can get rid of their drums without too much hassle and there’s no problem with waste.

“Everyone is fairly well educated on how to return their drums and they’re really good.”

Desert Fringe Regional Waste Management Group Education Officer Leah Davies said there are more than 20 drumMUSTER sites in the Wimmera and Hindmarsh council regions willing to take drums.

“St Pat’s does a tremendous job of collecting drums,” she said. “But there are plenty of options for farmers who don’t live near Nhill.”

“There are also opportunities for other community groups to take on collections in their regions too.”

Victorian drumMUSTER Regional Consultant John Knight said it was now time for local farmers to bring in their containers as crop spraying wraps up for the season.

“Drum recycling returns has slowed in recent years,” he said. “Some farmers find it too difficult when they bring them in and are then told to take them away if they’re not clean.”

“But if they’re returned to a group like St Pat’s, there’s a little more encouragement.”

The school has collected more than 43,000 containers since starting with the program in 2007. That’s roughly $10,000 going into the school for new facilities and activities.

“I urge all farmers to support the local collections as the funds raised are used for local charities and community groups,” John said.

Since 1999, drumMUSTER has collected more than 22 million drums nation-wide. That represents more than 27,000 tonnes of waste avoiding landfill and being recycled into new and useful things again, like plastic cable covers, wheelie bins and pipes.