A collective of councils and community groups in central NSW have broken an environmental record after reaching 2 million drums through drumMUSTER.
Collaborative waste management group NetWaste helps oversee drumMUSTER collections across 28 NSW councils.
The collective stretches from Broken Hill to Walgett, Narromine to Bathurst and the Blue Mountains and everything in between.
The region is responsible for collecting and recycling more than 2500 tonnes of agvet container waste from farmers and agvet chemical users.
Northern NSW drumMUSTER Consultant Phil Tucker said the area of NetWaste represents more than 300,000 people covering an area of around 317,000 square kilometres.
“This area represents the most active participants in the drumMUSTER program,” he said. “They range from broad-acre farmers, cotton growers, horticulturalists and wine growers.”
“Every year hundreds of these dedicated growers make the time and effort to round up their drums and bring them in to their nearest drumMUSTER site.”
Dennis Hughes from Grenfell organises drumMUSTER collections for the Grenfell Districts Senior Citizens Committee and Greenethorpe Soldiers Memorial Hall.
Dennis and fellow volunteers help collect and inspect drums from local farmers to raise funds for their group. In the past five years Dennis has helped raise more $33,000 for the groups.
“At Greenethorpe we use the funds for maintenance of the hall and pay for the insurance,” Dennis said. “We use the funds at the Grenfell collections for the up-keep of the senior citizens housing.”
Dennis said he’s helped inspect more than 80,000 drums.
“I used to be a farmer and still know a lot of growers. I send them email and phone messages to get the word out,” he said.
“We pick a day when there’s nothing on about in town and do it about threes time a year. If there’s been a lot of spraying there might more.”
NetWaste Environmental Learning Adviser Sue Clarke said NetWaste and drumMUSTER have had a long and successful relationship.
“There have certainly always been positive comments from everyone involved about the role drumMUSTER plays,” she said.
“I think this is a fantastic achievement we’re all pleased about.”
Since 1999, drumMUSTER has collected more than 22 million drums nation-wide. That represents more than 27,000 tonnes of waste avoiding landfill. Once collected the waste and is recycled into new and useful things again, like plastic cable covers, wheelie bins and pipes.
For further information on the drumMUSTER program, call 1800 008 707.