At the Premiers Awards in Sydney last week our regional waste group, North East Waste, was the recipient of an Award for Public Service, for their ‘Clean Up Country’ project. Supported by the northern rivers Councils and the NSW EPA, the project collaborated with Muli Muli Local Aboriginal Land Council and community, Kyogle Council, the Githubal rangers and Remondis to address the communities concerns about the impact of a 50-year-old waste dumping site that had encroached on the traditional burial grounds of their ancestors.
Their combined effort resulted in:
- the removal of 76 truckloads (2000 tonnes) of litter and dumped waste;
- revegetation of the old tip site;
- introduction of new recycling services managed by the community;
- employment of a community engagement advisor; and
- delivery of an innovative recycling education program, that included the production of 2 great video music clips featuring local students.
The EPA has turned this project into a pilot for the introduction of its statewide Aboriginal Communities Waste Management Program, so more communities can benefit from what was learned in this partnership. North East Waste also worked with Cabbage Tree Island and is now working with 2 communities in the Clarence Valley.
Lennox resident and Coordinator of North East Waste Jeanie McKillop said, ‘I’m incredibly proud of the team at North East Waste and Tash Morton, the project coordinator, for the incredible work they do in all things waste-related in our region. I’d also like to thank our member Councils and the NSW EPA for their support and willingness to face the challenges in regional waste management.”