Taking the pledge to waste less

Port Pirie Regional Council is the first regional council in South Australia to “take the pledge” to send less to landfill.

Take The Pledge is a waste management initiative driven by bin inspections which found that many residents were overfilling their red-lidded waste bins with materials that could be recycled or mulched.

Port Pirie joins a select number of metropolitan councils to host the campaign in partnership with KESAB environmental solutions. The 10-week campaign was established to encourage residents to improve the use of their yellow- and green-lidded bins for recyclable and compostable materials.

Promotions for Take The Pledge started in January and included a shopping centre display, social media and radio and television advertising.

The campaign officially started at the end of March, encouraging residents to visit the Port Pirie Regional Council website and take an online pledge to send less to landfill.

Prizes including a gift box from the local Tourism & Arts Centre and a $30 voucher to the Waste Transfer Station were offered as incentives.

Residents who took the pledge were sent a sticker to place on their red-lidded bin to demonstrate their commitment.

These bins were then audited to analyse whether the amount of recyclable and compostable material in these red-lidded bins was decreasing over the course of the campaign.

Port Pirie Regional Council’s Manager Environmental Services Chris Davey said while participation numbers were less than expected, audit results showed the campaign was making a difference to people overfilling their waste bins.

“The people who are participating in Take The Pledge are invested in it and the results really do reflect that,” he said.

Port Pirie Regional Council will receive a comprehensive report of audit findings once the program ends. Council will also be pursuing other waste management educational activities, including a program tailored specifically for regional and rural areas and a proposed education centre.

Take The Pledge is among a number of educational opportunities pursued by Port Pirie Regional Council.

Staff members provide regular tours of the Waste Transfer Station facility to kindergartens, schools and community groups, helping to spread the word on waste management.

This includes Council’s use of mulch on its landfill closure project and throughout the region’s parks and gardens, reducing the need to water as often and saving thousands of litres of water each year.