Similar to the situation in many local councils across the country, Penrith City Council faced a number of pending challenges, most notably the increasing recycling targets, rising landfill costs and impending CPRS levy.
The team’s innovative program focused on the collection of organic food waste through the use of the Kitchen Collector, coupled with a creative education program, which generated enthusiastic community involvement, and importantly, delivered results.
The program, launched in August 09 rolled-out a new three bin system and 47,500 Kitchen Collectors into all single and dual occupancy households in the urban areas of Penrith. The Penrith Kitchen Collectors, individually hot stamped with the council’s logo, were instrumental to the success of the program, as Amanda Morahan, Penrith City Council Waste Education Officer, explains.
‘With the rollout of the new service, each household was provided with a Penrith City Waste Services Kitchen Collector. The use of the Kitchen Collector allows Penrith residents to collect all food waste in the kitchen without the use of a plastic bag.
The use of the Kitchen Collector provides residents with a solution for transporting food waste from the kitchen to the Organics bin without using a plastic bag. Preventing plastic contamination is essential to the success of the organics collection service as the organics collected through the service will be recycled into high quality compost.
This compost will be used within the Penrith area to improve and maintain parks, gardens and playing fields.’
Education has been critical to the success of the program to promote the benefits and dispel the many myths which emerge through such change. In addition to the more traditional marketing such as the development of tailored printed marketing material, three coloured bin mascots led a creative community engagement program. This education program, involving school and community group presentations, and over 15 interactive public place displays throughout the Penrith City region, increased community awareness within a small timeframe, and provided residents with the opportunity to directly interact with the Penrith City Education team to have their questions answered.
If you would like further information as to how such programs could be adapted to deliver results in your community, contact Source Separation Systems.