Logan’s war on waste

Logan’s war on waste

When it comes to the war on waste, we’re doing some great things in the City of Logan – and the next generation is leading the way.

Marsden State High School made news around the country earlier this year with an innovative recycling program that has changed the way the school manages its waste. In less than a year, the school has reduced the amount of waste it sends to landfill by 85 per cent.

How did they do it? By taking responsibility for their own waste.

Although the school had introduced a two-bin system, the recycle bins were constantly contaminated with food and non-recyclables – even though students were trying to do the right thing.

The solution was to set up a recycling centre where recyclables could be manually sorted. Each day, the contents of recycling bins from around the school are now emptied out and volunteers (staff and 52 students a day), separate out the recyclables. This has reduced the amount of waste the school sends to landfill from 4.5m a day to around 1m per day.

Logan City Council recognised the importance of the initiative with a $5,000 Envirogrant to ensure the program can continue.

The 2,500 student-strong school is also set to participate in the recently introduced Container Refund Scheme, partnering with Envirobank. The latter will supply and set up the equipment the school needs and collect containers fortnightly. Envirobank also provides the school with large mesh “take home” bags to give to staff and students to fill and return to school on certain drop off and pick up days.

If that’s not enough, Sustainability Coordinator Terry Thompson has also created a vegetable garden area where he composts the school’s organic waste.

Across town in Kingston, Logan’s most innovative recycling operation is continuing to change lives at Substation 33.

The internationally renowned social enterprise (part of not-for-profit organisation YFS) manually dismantles electronic waste and uses components to build 3D printers, e-bikes, solar-run bluetooth portable speakers, and an award-winning flooded smart road warning system.

The 3D printers are designed and manufactured onsite primarily from electronic waste otherwise destined for landfill, while the e-bikes use recycled laptop batteries and 3D-printed battery modules, fitted to a standard bike (often taken from scrap) along with a purchased mid-drive motor kit.

Not only does Substation 33 divert e-waste from landfill (it takes in around 150,000 kg of e-waste a year and only five per cent goes on to landfill), the social enterprise provides opportunities for people who face barriers to employment to gain skills and confidence from being a part of the workshop team.

Who else is doing great things in Logan to combat the war on waste? Tell us via email innovation@logan.qld.gova.au

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