Posts Tagged ‘waste’

The Nurdle Hunters – Plastic pollution talk and survey

Posted in Events, Research by EcoCentre on October 14th, 2013

19 October , 2013
1:00 pmto2:30 pm

nurdle soup (2)

Since May 2013, a new wave of plastic pollution has been uncovered by Melbourne BayKeeper volunteers in the form of ‘nurdles’. Hundreds of these plastic pre-production pellets have been found regularly on St Kilda Beaches, and more recently, in streams flowing into the Bay.

EcoCentre Director and Port Phillip BayKeeper, Neil Blake, will give a talk about this spreading problem and then lead people on a plastic pollution field survey.

We need ongoing support to measure plastic pollution in the Bay. The aim is to clearly show there’s an ongoing issue and to call on government agencies and plastics manufacturers to be part of the solution.

Venue: Port Phillip EcoCentre, Cnr Blessington & Herbert Streets, St Kilda (in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens)
Date: Saturday 19 October
Time: 1pm-2.30pm

>>> For More Information and background, visit the BayKeeper website.


Dehydrator in Degraves Street

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on June 24th, 2013

Photo by avlxyz via Flickr CC

From Enterprise Melbourne:

The City of Melbourne is working with businesses in Degraves Street and Centre Place to implement a shared recycling program, which aims to divert plastics, paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass and organic waste from commercial bins. The waste materials are collected from the businesses and processed on site at the Degraves Street Recycling Facility in Ross House, which hosts a food waste dehydrator, a cardboard baler and co-mingled recycling bins. [The dehydrator turns organic waste into pellets that can then be used as compost for gardens. -JB] The objective of the project is to increase recycling and promote positive environmental outcomes within the Degraves Street precinct.  The project will reduce the environmental and amenity impacts of waste collection and disposal in this busy and popular area of the city. The Degraves Street Recycling Facility is a demonstration project jointly funded by the City of Melbourne and Metropolitan Waste Management Group.

>>> The Degraves Street Recycling Facility is located in Ross House.
>>> You can read the original article on Enterprise Melbourne.

Compost Revolution: Online Quiz and Tutorial

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on May 20th, 2013

Image: Compost Revolution

The Mount Alexander Shire Council has signed up for a Compost Revolution – your ‘one-stop-shop for composting and wormfarming':

“Composting and wormfarming is easy to do and prevents the wasteful transport of food scraps to landfill where they produce harmful greenhouse gases. You can halve your rubbish and return vital nutrients to the soil to grow your veggies in. You can learn all the basics of composting and wormfaring at our online tutorial, then take the quiz.

After that [if you live in Mt Alexander] you’re eligible for a discounted compost bin or worm farm!

The Compost Revolution is a community initiative that promotes home composting, growing food locally and connecting with your neighbours. Get involved, learn, test yourself and start turning food scraps into healthy soil for growing food.”


Learn Successful Worm Farming!

Posted in Events by EcoCentre on May 15th, 2013

18 May , 2013
11:00 amto12:30 pm


Saturday 18 May, 11am-12.30pm

Want bucket loads of worm castings, like these ones collected from EcoCentre? In this workshop you’ll learn how to set up and maintain a top-performing worm farm.

Everything you ever wanted to know about how to wrangle worms and turn your organic kitchen waste into garden enriching compost.

The workshop will be run by industry professional Richard Thomas. Richard is a highly sought-after expert who not only runs a worm nursery in Melbourne but who also consults in this field in developing countries.  This workshop uses active, demonstration wormfarms and covers theory and troubleshooting.

Bookings ESSENTIAL. Cost $15 EcoCentre ‘green’ members/$25 others
9534  0670 /

Venue: Port Phillip EcoCentre
Cnr Blessington & Herbert Streets, St Kilda
(in St Kilda Botanic Gardens)

Choose Tap (Water!) in local cafes

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on April 18th, 2013


Choose Tap aims to promote the benefits of drinking tap water as part of a healthy lifestyle and as a positive alternative to bottled water. More than a billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water – but sometimes in Australia we take our quality tap water for granted.

We spend more than $500 million a year on bottled water, which is not only putting greater strain on the environment, it’s an expense we could easily avoid. Melburnians are rightly proud of our tap water, which is primarily sourced from protected natural catchments and requires very little treatment before we drink it. As many have discovered after a trip interstate or overseas, our water is great to drink!

Medical experts agree that during summer, people should drink at least 8 glasses of water per day – more if they have been exercising or outdoors. Water is the best source of hydration and is calorie free – and of course it is an absolute bargain compared to any other drink.

Yarra Valley Water through the Choose Tap program is working in partnership with cafes and restaurants that serve tap water to their customers. Many cafes and restaurants are already serving tap water, as after all, Melbourne has some of the best tasting drinking water in the world!

As part of the program, Yarra Valley Water is providing participating cafes with Choose Tap glass water bottles, fact sheets for customers and staff, as well as a Choose Tap shop front sticker to recognise that they serve tap water.

The program is being launched in High Street Northcote as well as selected businesses across our service area with the scope to roll out across the Yarra Valley Water district (from Stonnington in the South East across to the Yarra Ranges and up North to Wallan) in 2013.

>> See a list of participating Northcote cafes and restaurants here


EcoXpo Melbourne 19-21 April 2013

Posted in Events by aymeric on April 9th, 2013

19 April , 2013 10:00 amto21 April , 2013 6:00 pm


Sustainable products on Australian supermarket shelves have more than doubled in the past year. Buying sustainable products means creating a positive impact through the complete life cycle of the product: from the moment the materials are extracted to make the product, to the way these are shipped are assembled, right down to the final packaging, and life after disposal.

Eco living means we care about our impact on our environment. The most effective way to buy eco and sustainable products is to buy those which have been certified for their sustainability credentials.
EcoXpo Melbourne, a three-day sustainability expo to be held from the 19th to the 21st of April 2013 at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, goes through a rigorous screening process to ensure that only such products and services are showcased.

Over 150 of Australia’s best eco-friendly exhibitors will be showcasing their wares. There are 9 pavilions at EcoXpo: eco baby, organic food & wines, health, beauty, sustainable fashion, eco building materials, eco gardens, sustainable transport and environmental protection. There will be a range of mouth-watering organic food and wine stalls available to tuck into. Engaging eco living workshops will be held throughout the EcoXpo weekend on sustainable food, recycling, environmental conservation, gardening, eco baby, green living, well-being and much more! There will also be a kids’ zone to keep the little ones entertained.

We encourage green business involved with anything green & eco to be part of EcoXpo: Melbourne (19-21 April 2013), Sydney with Dr. David Suzuki (20-22 September 2013) and Perth (17-20 October 2013).
Place: Melbourne Showground, located just 10 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD
Opening Times: 10am – 6:00pm

>>> For more information and discount tickets see the EcoXpo website and follow EcoXpo on Facebook.

Life Beyond Single Use: eco-crafternoon

Posted in Events by TransitionTownPortPhillip on February 15th, 2013

23 February , 2013
12:00 pmto4:00 pm

Pre-loved PET pig

A local Sustainable Living Festival event, hosted by Transition Port Phillip.

Join us for an afternoon of creative workshops and transform waste into art. Learn how to make preloved PETs – upcycled clothing & jewellery – fused plastic flowers, purses & flags –  knit with plastic yarn (plarn)

Date: Saturday 23 February, 12-4pm.

Location: Port Phillip Eco Centre, 55a Blessington St, St Kilda

Bookings essential $5 earlybird (by 14 Feb) or $10

Transition Port Phillip is part of the Transition Town Network – our vision is to inspire and enhance connectedness and sustainable living.

Creative Suburbs Forum

Posted in Events by Jessica Bird on February 12th, 2013

15 February , 2013
2:00 pmto3:00 pm

6. Creative Suburbs

Are growing, liveable cities and neighbourhoods achievable? Join this interactive forum to find out.

How old will you be in 2040? What sort of place do you want Melbourne to be? It is now obvious that Melbourne’s population will continue to grow. It is also obvious that climate change will have a major effect on how we live. The changes to our lives, and costs, are likely to be significant. Think: transport, electricity, gas and water. However, population growth can be comfortably accommodated, and can positively lead to thriving communities within existing urban growth boundaries. Many of the necessary processes and technologies already exist. The catch is: we must effectively plan now.

That’s where you come in. This is not just a matter for the government, developers, and planning ‘experts’. This forum gives you the chance to nurture the positive ideas, put a blowtorch to the negative ideas, and learn about what can be done to maintain Melbourne as a sustainable and liveable city.

Forum collaborators include: Urban Design Forum, Urban Rethink, Heart Foundation, Deakin University and Planning Institute of Australia and Creative Suburbs.

When:  2pm – 3pm, Friday 15th February
Where: The Shed
River Promenade, Fed Square
>>> This forum is being held as part of the Sustainable Living Festival, check the website to find out more.

From Woody Weeds to Biochar: Mobile Biochar Unit

Posted in Models, Research by Jessica Bird on November 13th, 2012

Screen grab from Central West CMA’s YouTube film .

From the Central West Catchment Management Authority media release “New technology for old problems – mobile biochar unit demo in Nyngan” :


[26/10/12] Nyngan district farmers saw first hand technology which turns invasive native scrub (INS, also known as woody weeds) into an agricultural resource at a Central West Catchment Management Authority (CMA) field day on Thursday last week. The mobile biochar plant was on demonstration on ‘Wilgadale’ and transforms woody waste material into biochar without the conventional costs of chipping and transport. This breaking technology has many potential applications in the Nyngan district and other parts of NSW according to Central West CMA Coordinator Michael Longhurst. ‘Woody weeds are a problem in central west and western NSW and their management is a significant cost to landholders,’ said Mike. ‘This machine transforms woody waste left over from INS treatment into biochar in a smoke free environment. This product can be used locally to improve soil health and sequester carbon.’

Biochar is a type of charcoal which improves soil health by storing water and nutrients when applied to the soil. The process, known as pyrolysis, is the high temperature treatment of biomass such as woody waste converted into biochar. ‘The woody material leftover from INS treatment would have been otherwise raked, burnt into the atmosphere and wasted,’ said Mike. ‘A biochar plant means the costs of an INS management program can be partly offset through creating agricultural by-products. ‘This mobile system also means that the woody material can be processed into biochar without chipping and transporting costs traditional associated with biochar production.’

Fourth generation Nyngan landholder Anthony Gibson hosted the CMA field day on his property ‘Wilgadale’. ‘Woody weeds are a headache for landholders for a number of reasons. They are nightmare to muster through; reduce groundcover and biodiversity; and out-compete useful grasses,’ said Anthony. ‘The machine we’ve had a look at today is turning woody weeds into something much more useable – something we can lock carbon up in and ameliorate the soil. I can see quite a few benefits of it spreading around the landscape. ‘The unit makes good use of something that just gets pushed up into a heap and burnt otherwise at great expense. By turning it into something useful it is a real win-win situation.’

The system was originally designed by the company Earth Systems through a North East CMA (Victoria) project to manage willow removal and dispose of the waste material. The Central West CMA worked in partnership with Earth Systems and the North East CMA to demonstrate the system in central west NSW. […]

You can read the full media release or learn more on Central West CMA’s Youtube channel.

Waste and Resource Recovery Policy: Open for comment

Posted in Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on November 1st, 2012

From the Draft Victorian Waste and Resource Recovery Policy

The Victorian Coalition Government is asking Victorians to help shape the future of waste minimization efforts, ensuring less material goes to landfill and increasing recycling rates.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith [has] unveiled the Draft Victorian Waste and Resource Recovery Policy for community comment. The policy is designed to help transform the state’s waste management system by setting a long term vision for waste management and resource recovery in Victoria, along with a range of actions to be undertaken over the next 10 years.

“While Victorians are recycling more than ever before, the state?s increased population and the growth in discarded consumer items has seen annual waste generation grow from eight million tonnes in 2000 to around 12.1 million tonnes in 2011,” Mr Smith said. “We want to prevent more waste going into landfill so the environment doesn?t keep paying the price for our consumption.” Mr Smith said based on evidence over the past decade, Victoria’s growing population rate and waste generation trends could, if not tackled, see a 45 per cent increase in waste generation over the next 10 years.

“The priority now is to put in place strong and positive measures to reduce waste and increase recycling,” Mr Smith said. “We must do more to focus our recycling and resource recovery efforts on the materials where there is a strong market demand. “We don’t just want to keep material out of landfill, we want to make sure that something productive is done with it so that it doesn’t become waste in the first place. A strong market based operation will help us achieve that goal,” Mr Smith said. “Our draft policy represents an opportunity to drive further significant and positive environmental reform and demonstrates that we will be doing things differently.

Comments are invited until 23 November 2012.