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Farmers and communities called on to boost recycling

Published: 10-05-2014

Rural recycling program drumMUSTER is calling on farmers and communities across NSW and Victoria to collect and recycle empty chemical drums to prevent them ending up in landfill.

It comes as the program kicks off its annual campaign, encouraging farmers and chemical users to return their empty agvet chemical containers.

Southern NSW drumMUSTER Consultant Vernon Keighley said farmers and communities lie at the heart of the program.

“Without farmers who use the program, along with the communities that provide opportunities for them to recycle their drums, drumMUSTER would not exist,” he said.

Vernon said drumMUSTER rewards community groups who participate in the program by paying them 25 cents for each drum they inspect. Community groups in NSW have raised nearly $250,000 combined in the past decade.

“Groups like the Greenethorpe Soldiers Memorial Hall Group in Central NSW receive a reward from drumMUSTER for inspecting and collecting drums from local farmers. This reward helps fund the up-keep of their hall,” he said.

“It’s a great initiative which has seen return rates soar in a lot of areas across the state.”

Vernon said part of his work with drumMUSTER is talking with community groups to provide more flexible options for farmers by opening convenient drop-off points and extending landfill hours.

“Community groups are passionate about drumMUSTER, not only because it helps fund their projects, but also cleans up the land,” he said.

drumMUSTER is now calling on farmers to support the local communities and councils to help improve the return rate and prevent drums going into landfill or ending up in creeks or paddocks.

Since 1999, drumMUSTER has collected more than 23 million drums nation-wide.

That represents more than 28,000 tonnes of waste avoiding landfill and being 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 or log on to