Whilst we are passionate about minimising waste, it is rare to meet someone putting that passion into practice – and at an organisational level.
Wormlovers have had the pleasure of working with Brett Hedger from City of Port Phillip for a few years now, who has made it his mission to ensure ALL the waste coming out of the municipal office in St Kilda is being dealt with sustainably.
Brett and the office Green Team have set up a comprehensive waste system at St Kilda Town Hall, where staff can dispose of everything from light globes, to clothing, to metals, polystyrene, paper and electronics. From there it is reused, donated, or recycled.
They have achieved the councils 2020 target for waste diversion FIVE YEARS ahead of schedule!
We became involved when Brett turned his attention to organic waste. What started with a few Hungry Bins late in 2014 has grown to an array of twelve bins, each allocated to a staff member to manage – ensuring buy in from those involved, and spreading the understanding of worm processes and know how on managing the farms. And it was a no-brainer to engage Brett to test our prototype bulk worm farm, which he has been feeding and monitoring for the last six months with great results.
In less than 18 months this management program has processed 1.3 tonnes of organic waste, and nearly 2 tonnes of recyclables, just from staff in the building. Through this and a range of other measures over the last few years they have achieved the councils 2020 target for waste diversion FIVE YEARS ahead of schedule! But that is not the end of it – the plan for the coming years is to expand their reach to include organic waste from the building events kitchen, the childcare facility on site and then on to other childcare facilities around the municipality.
Less than 15% of the Town Hall waste is now going to landfill, making it a leader in sustainable waste management. And rest assured Brett will try and bring that percentage down… he recently hosted a tour of the facility with the Mayor and councillors, who were extremely impressed with the results.
We applaud Brett and the team for demonstrating what is possible, and we look forward to City of Port Phillip continuing to lead the way in reducing the waste streams going to land fill. Huzzah!