Australia's first drumMUSTER at Gunnedah

Australia's first drumMUSTER collection was held last month at Gunnedah Shire Council in NSW. drumMUSTER is the national program for the collection and recycling of empty, cleaned, non returnable crop protection and animal health chemical containers.

National Manager of drumMUSTER, David Harvest, said the first drumMUSTER collection at Gunnedah is a major step for the program to realise its significant environmental benefits. "A great deal of planning has gone into developing drumMUSTER to the stage it is at now, where we can start rolling it out to Councils right around Australia," he said.

"The Australian Local Government Association, National Farmers' Federation, Avcare and the Veterinary Manufacturer's and Distributors Association have all worked together to get drumMUSTER ready to implement, and it is very exciting to see Councils start to take the program up.

"Gunnedah Shire Council is to be congratulated for being the first to adopt drumMUSTER, but there is a great deal of interest from other Councils and I expect to see a lot of drumMUSTER collection centres appearing over the next 12 months.

"This is important, because drumMUSTER is a real model for other industries wanting to responsibly deal with their waste, and I am sure it will be a success if Councils, farmers, retailers and manufacturers continue working together." Gunnedah Shire Council General Manager, Max Kershaw said he is expecting a positive response to Council's new service.

"There are a lot of agricultural chemicals used in this area, so I think the whole community will appreciate the provision of a service to take the empty containers out of the waste stream," he said.

"All containers brought in to our collection centre will be inspected, and only correctly cleaned containers will be accepted - we have constructed a secure cage for accepted containers which holds up to 20,000 drums. "From our collection site they will be processed by a local materials recovery contractor for recycling.

drumMUSTER is funded by a levy of 4 cents per kilogram or litre levy on crop protection and animal health chemical products sold in non returnable containers. Products contained in returnable, refillable containers do not attract the levy. The drumMUSTER levy will reimburse participating Councils for agreed drumMUSTER collection services.

For further information contact David Harvest, telephone (02) 6230 6712.

Click here to visit the drumMUSTER web site