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Passionate inspector scoops up drumMUSTER award

Published: 03-03-2014

A local landfill site operator at Mildura Rural City Council has taken out a national award through his work with recycling program drumMUSTER.

Chris O’Connor-Byrne, who runs the Ouyen Landfill, was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by drumMUSTER’s Victoria Regional Consultant John Knight for inspecting drums at the site for local farmers.

Containers need to be inspected by trained inspectors to see if they’re clean and dry before being processed and recycled.

John said in just under 12 months in the job, Chris has shown a true passion for the service which collects containers from farmers and chemical users across the region.

“Chris is known for stacking the drums up in the cage, which makes the whole process easier for everyone,” he said. “It’s nice and neat and reflects well on the council.”

“At field days I have locals come up to me saying how nice it looks. Making it look good changes people’s mind-set from dumping drums to re-locating. It’s very clever.”

Chris said farmers around Mildura and Ouyen are on top of their game when it comes to returning their drums.

He said he was “chuffed” on receiving the award.

“I was quite surprised,” he said. “Keeping the compound nice and tidy helps put more drums in and it’s easier to count when the blokes come in to bail them up. It makes the process easier for everyone.”

Chris said drumMUSTER Inspector training also allowed him to inform customers on how to properly return drums so they can be recycled.

“About 9 out of 10 customers are good. After 12 months in the job, I now know who are the good ones and the ones who can do a little better in terms of rinsing them out,” he said.

“I’m on my own here at the site so I have to keep on top of it.”

Mildura Rural City Council is one of the largest councils operating the drumMUSTER program with 10 sites available across the council region for users to deliver their drums.

The council’s sites have collected more than 205,000 containers, equating to nearly 235 tonnes of waste avoiding local landfills since first starting drumMUSTER in 1999.

Mildura Rural City Council’s Environmental Sustainability Councillor Judi Harris said Council is very proud of their long association with drumMUSTER and congratulated Chris on his achievement.

“I want to say a big congratulations to Chris – this is an important environmental project for our farmers and having someone who takes pride in their work only adds to the success of the program.

“We are striving to reduce waste across the region and every time we stop recyclable items from going into landfill, we are moving a step closer to achieving our long term goals.  Council has a dedicated team working on this issue and it is just fantastic to see one of the team recognised in this way.”

Collections at Ouyen are held Sunday between 10am – 2pm, Tuesday & Friday between 1pm -6pm and Monday & Thursday from 8am-12pm.

For other collection times in the Mildura region, visit the drumMUSTER 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 23 million drums nation-wide. That represents more than 28,000 tonnes of waste avoiding landfill.

For more information contact John Knight on 0427 346 325. For further information on the drumMUSTER program, call 1800 008 707 or log on to


1. Ouyen Inspector Chris Connor-Byrne with drumMUSTER Victoria Consultant John Knight

2. Ouyen Site