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Wandering Shire Council leads the way in WA

Published: 10-04-2015

Australia’s agvet chemical container recycling program drumMUSTER has been relaunched in Wandering.

Allan McGann, drumMUSTER’s National Program Manager, said Wandering Shire Council is one of hundreds of councils across the country who provide the service to ratepayers.

drumMUSTER is an essential community service for a lot of regions. Farmers and other chemical users benefit by offloading drums that are becoming an environmental problem on their land.”

Farmers can now deliver their empty drums on an ongoing basis, rather than waiting for a few set days per year.

The Wandering Refuse Site receives drums on Mondays from 7am–3pm and Sundays from 7am–2pm. If you have more than 50 drums, please call (08) 9884 1056 to make a booking.

Councillor Brendan Whitely, who operates a sheep dipping business in Wandering, was the first to deliver drums to the site under the new arrangements with a yearly haul of 192 empty agvet containers.

“The service is much better now. We no longer have to wait months if we miss the nominated day,” he said.

“People used to leave their drums outside the cage when it was locked. This included dirty drums, which the council was stuck with. Having an inspector on-site on an ongoing basis eliminates dumping and ensures only clean drums are counted and stored in the drumMUSTER cage. It’s a much more efficient process.”

drumMUSTER Regional Consultant Graeme Passmore believes that greater access to the service is improving farmer participation and the resulting drum deliveries.

“The new options have been in place since 25 March 2015. The original drumMUSTER site was council initiated and it’s fitting that a councillor was the first to deliver his drums when we introduced the ongoing service,” he said.

The number of single trip drums being used by farmers is declining due to the increased use of returnable packaging arrangements for 110 litre (enviros) and 1,000 litre (IBCs) containers. Unfortunately, there is also growing evidence to suggest that some farmers are once again burying or burning their drums.

We encourage farmers not to become complacent by diverting small amounts of drums into the on-farm tip or by burning them along with other farm waste. Take the opportunity to use the drumMUSTER service and dispose of your drums off-farm, as you go.

Farmers who use drumMUSTER tend to have a much more organised approach to waste management. Some farmers have even become very progressive, refusing to dispose of any farm or household waste on their farm.

New inspector Rod Curtis keeps a record of what types of chemical containers are being returned.

“It helps me to keep track of deliveries. I’ve been living in the Wandering area my whole life. I know the farmers and their habits. I will definitely be encouraging all of them to participate in the program.”

To find your nearest collection site, simply enter your postcode and state under ‘Collection locations’ on the drumMUSTER website. A map will appear with the closest site in your area marked.

Since 1999, drumMUSTER has collected more than 25 million drums across Australia, including 4 million in Western Australia.

drumMUSTER would like to thank the Wandering Shire Council for their ongoing support of the program.

Photo caption (from left): Graeme Passmore, Rob Cutris, Rod Evenis and Brendan Whitely.