A council region in northwest Victoria has reached an environmental milestone after collecting and recycling more than 400,000 empty agvet chemical containers.
Swan Hill Council operates three drumMUSTER sites around the region for local farmers and chemical users to recycle their empty agvet chemical drums throughout the year.
The council has been involved with the program since 1999 and has recycled more than 401,000 drums during that time.
That’s more than 455 tonnes of waste avoiding landfill and being recycled into new things like plastic bollards, wheelie bins and pipes.
Victorian drumMUSTER Regional Consultant John Knight said the program’s success in the region is thanks to the joint effort of the council, a local community group and a local processor.
“The drumMUSTER site at Swan Hill Landfill has collected more than 120,000 drums alone,” he said. “That equates to about 149 tonnes of recycled material.”
“Those numbers speak for themselves.”
Swan Hill Council’s Special Projects Engineer and drumMUSTER organiser, Mazen Aldaghstani said the council was very proud of the achievement.
“We’re covering a larger area now and everything is running fine. The feedback we’re getting from everyone is that it’s improving and doing really well,” he said.
Mazen said the region couldn’t have reached the milestone without help from local community group Manangatang Recreation Reserve Committee.
The group receives funding for each drum they inspect and collect. The group has raised more than $15,000 which has gone towards new projects around the community.
“The success is certainly related to awareness of the community group,” Mazen said. “Manangatang run an efficient site and I understand a lot of farmers return their drums to them.”
Once containers have been inspected they are held in a specially constructed cage to wait for recycling.
Robinvale recycling processor Mike Smith collects the drums and chips them up to be recycled into new things again.
“We have a little truck with a cage on it and we collect drums from some of the almond and grape farms,” he said. “We load the truck up and dump them in the yard where we feed them through a granulator. It mulches them up in 10mm pieces and then we sell it off.”
Since Mike bought the business in 2008 he’s processed more than 117,000 drums from farms around Robinvale.
“We have a good relationship with all the farms out there,” he said. “There’s good communication and we know most of them now.”
To find out more about your nearest drumMUSTER location, visit our website.
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 22 million drums nation-wide. That represents more than 27,000 tonnes of waste avoiding landfill.
For more information contact John Knight on 0427 346 325.