Avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle and repair

MAPLE Street Co-op and Maleny Forums hosted an informal evening recently to find out what is happening around Maleny to reduce waste.

Individuals, community organisations, schools and businesses shared how they already avoid waste, reduce, reuse, recycle and repair.

The intention of the get-together was to take waste reduction to the next level with the help of a few key people.

“Many people in the area are doing great things for recycling but as is normal, there is a lack of joined-up thinking,” Barry Smith from Maleny Forums said.

He said the night was “about sharing what we are doing and then taking some action to do even better”.

The meeting was attended by Cr Winston Johnston and Sunshine Coast waste team members Craig Wilson and Sandi Johnston who provided a short overview on what is being done in the region, with a large focus being on reducing the amount of garden waste and kitchen scraps going into the red (standard waste) bin.

Three simple things they suggested that all residents could do to help make a difference were:

1. Rinse out containers before putting in yellow recycle bins – they’re still sorted by hand at the depot.

2. Think about downsizing your bin and using a green waste bin – nearly half of waste bin contents are biodegradable food scraps and garden clippings.

3. Think about whether you need to buy an item – avoid creating waste.

Passioned discussion highlighted what was already done locally, including the local Fix It Café in the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre, the 10c container recycling on Wednesday mornings at the IGA carpark and the Witta Transfer Station shop that operated on Saturdays.

The group brainstormed what could happen next, with key themes being the need for action over discussion, more community education, finding out facts so the group could track progress, advocacy to government and packaging producers, and community projects.

The community project ideas were inspired by Yandina Community Garden, Transition Towns, War on Waste in Glasshouse, Responsible Cafes and the plastic recycling and biogas generation initiative nationally.

The forum generated so much enthusiasm that a group of 16 people committed to putting projects into action. The Maple Street Co-op has offered to be a clearing house for information on local recycling points.

The group welcomes anyone to join them at the next working group meeting. If you are keen to roll up your sleeves and make things happen, contact Fi on 0416 057 702.