Preventing plastic pollution in regional Australia

Media Statement – 2nd August 2018

It’s always refreshing to see successful recycling programs that deliver positive environmental outcomes and social benefits.

Plastic pollution is firmly on the public agenda as is the need for more environmentally oriented solutions to keep plastics out of landfill and marine environments. Many single-use plastics in particular are ending up in the wrong place causing litter and threatening wildlife.

In response to these issues, Farm Waste Recovery is partnering with Bundaberg Regional Council and IMPACT Community Services to collect and recycle used fertiliser bags. This unique service is paid for by participating companies Incitec Pivot and Impact fertilisers and meets the needs of farmers.

With landfill bans likely to become more popular around the country, other suppliers using plastic packaging are encouraged to join Farm Waste Recovery.

Mr Stephen Richards, Managing Director of Farm Waste Recovery commenced the program in 2015 to keep these bags out of landfill and make sure they aren’t incinerated or illegally dumped.

“By working closely with council and the fertiliser companies, we’ve created a practical solution for used bags that protects the environment and meets community need” said Mr Richards.

The bags collected through Farm Waste Recovery are processed and recycled for use in manufacturing other plastic items, including garden furniture and traffic bollards.

Bundaberg Regional Council Waste and Recycling portfolio spokesperson Cr Scott Rowleson said the service had been a great success.

“The Farm Waste Recovery program demonstrates the wider social and waste minimisation benefit of farm-friendly stewardship initiatives,” Cr Rowleson said.

“The program results are very positive with 48 tonnes out of 58 tonnes of single-use bulk fertiliser bags produced by the participating companies being recycled in the Bundaberg Region. That’s a return rate of 83% and very successful by any standard.”

The Farm Waste Recovery approach is very collaborative and depends on enthusiastic partnerships focused on key social, environmental and economic objectives.

IMPACT Community Services played a key role in the program through its contribution to collection and recycling activities.

“Resource recovery and recycling projects like Farm Waste Recovery highlight the employment, disability and training opportunities that IMPACT Community Services provides to our people and the region” said Tim van Kooten,  Recycling Collections Manager at IMPACT Community Services.

Incitec Pivot and Impact Fertilisers bags can now be dropped off in Bundaberg, at IMPACT”s Recycling Centre in University Drive.

You can contact IMPACT on 07 41553411 if you have any queries or wish to drop off used fertilizer bags.

Download the media release here.

Media comment:

Stephen Richards
Farm Waste Recovery
Mobile:  0499 053 255