EMRC E-Newsletter December 2016

EMRC E-Newsletter December 2016

In this issue:

CEO's Message

PETER B. SCHNEIDERLooking back over the last 12 months there have been some significant milestones achieved within the organisation, such as the opening of the Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility and releasing our tender for the Resource Recovery Facility. Our Council and staff have been incredibly busy with a number of projects and I would like to take this time to thank them for all of their efforts in 2016.

To help us rejuvenate and prepare for the year ahead, EMRC's Ascot Place Administration Office will close at 5pm on Friday, 23 December 2016 and will re-open at 8.30am on Tuesday, 3 January 2017.

The Red Hill Waste Management Facility will be closed on Christmas Day, Sunday, 25 December 2016 and New Year's Day, Sunday, 1 January 2017. The Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park will close at 3pm on Friday, 23 December 2016 and will remain closed until it re-opens at 7am on Tuesday, 3 January 2017. The Coppin and Mathieson Road Transfer Stations (Shire of Mundaring) will be closed on Christmas Day, Sunday, 25 December 2016, Boxing Day, Monday, 26 December 2016, and New Year's Day, Sunday 1 January 2017.

The EMRC's Chairman, Councillors and staff look forward to continuing our work together in 2017 and we wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable festive season.

Chief Executive Officer

Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility launched

The EMRC has celebrated the completion of a significant stage of our long term Resource Recovery Project, with an official opening ceremony for the newly completed Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility at the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park.

The Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility was officially opened on 30 November 2016 by the Honourable Albert Jacob, Minister for Environment; Heritage. The event was attended by a range of government, industry and community representatives. The Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility was supported by the Waste Authority through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account.

The Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility represents a significant portion of the $25 million investment planned for the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park over the next five years. The Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility will recover resources from commercial and industrial waste streams, thus diverting waste from landfill whilst also providing an opportunity to re-use materials. The facility has a diversion goal of 50-55% of materials presented and a processing capacity of 50,000 tonnes of material per year.

For more information, fees and charges and waste acceptance criteria, click here.

Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility

Photo 1 (L-R) Mr Marcus Geisler, Waste Authority Chairman; Hon. Albert Jacob MLA, Minister for Environment; Heritage; Cr David Fardig, EMRC Chairman; and Mr Peter Schneider, EMRC CEO at the launch of the Commercial and Industrial Waste Sorting Facility

EMRC's Leading Edge Employment

The EMRC is committed to providing an inclusive and safe workplace for all employees and recently received funding through the 'Lighthouse Project', a project that is a partnership between the Disability Services Commission and Local Government Managers Australia WA. The Lighthouse Project aims to increase the employment of people with disabilities in local government. This grant will be used to foster equal employment opportunities, provide disability focused training and development programs for staff and to strengthen the EMRC's commitment to employing and retaining people with disabilities within the organisation.

The EMRC was also recognised at the Leading Edge Employer Awards, winning the 'Government Employer' category. The Leading Edge Employer Awards acknowledge employers who have made a significant contribution and have gone above and beyond in creating opportunities for people with disabilities in Western Australia.

For more information on the EMRC's commitment to employing and retaining staff with disabilities, please contact Prapti Mehta, Manager Human Resources, on (08) 9424 2231 or email Prapti.Mehta@emrc.org.au

EMRC Celebrates Volunteers

Perth's Eastern Region's Landcare volunteers were honoured at the annual end of year function held at Hartfield Country Club. The event, held on 2 December 2016, was attended by 110 people and recognised volunteers for their tremendous efforts to protect and enhance natural bushland, with 2016 also marking 20 years of Landcare volunteers working within Perth's Eastern Region. The function was hosted by the EMRC and supported by Shire of Kalamunda, Shire of Mundaring, City of Swan and Department of Parks and Wildlife.

EMRC's Chairman, Cr David Fardig, opened the event and acknowledged that local governments and the community are indebted to volunteers for their tireless work and their role as custodians of the bushlands. Cr Fardig reminded those in attendance how fortunate we are to have those who make tremendous contributions to the health and wellbeing of the environment as members of the region.

In keeping with tradition, a photography competition themed 'Spring has sprung' was held on the day, with attendees voting for their favourite photograph. First place was awarded to Francisca Lebel with 'Elythranthera brunonis', second place was awarded to Ken Patterson with 'Hypocalymma robustum (Swan River Myrtle)' and third place was awarded to Alan Blackburn with 'Bee on Pak Choy'.

The photographs from the 2015 competition were used to create a calendar that was given to attendees of the event as a token of appreciation for what they have achieved in 2016.

For more information on volunteering in Landcare projects within Perth's Eastern Region, please contact Karen Warner, Natural Resource Management Coordinator, on (08) 9424 2242 or email Karen.Warner@emrc.org.au

Elythranthera brunonis

Photo 2 'Elythranthera brunonis' by Francisca Lebel

EMRC's 2016/2017 Community Grants Program

Six community groups received over $8,000 of funding in EMRC's 2016/2017 Community Grants Program. The East Gidgegannup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade, Eastern Hills Horse and Pony Club, Darlington Pony Club, Gidgegannup Primary School P&C, Gidgegannup Recreation Club and the Perth Hills Paintball Association celebrated their success at a cheque presentation held at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility in October.

The funds will be used for purchasing new equipment, new storage facilities, revitalising club facilities and sending year six children on a leadership course.

Through the grants program, the EMRC assists local groups with programs, activities, events or facilities that support the sustainability, cultural / community, social and / or recreational needs of the Gidgegannup, Hovea, Parkerville and Stoneville communities.

For more information on the EMRC's Community Grants Program, please contact Melinda Berwick, Functions and Communications Officer, on (08) 9424 2209 or email Melinda.Berwick@emrc.org.au

Community Grants Program

Photo 3 EMRC's 2016/2017 Community Grants recipients with EMRC's Chairman, Cr David Fardig (front centre) and CEO, Mr Peter Schneider (back left)

EMRC Recognised for Youth Activities

The EMRC's Bush Skills 4 Youth program is a two-year pilot program supported by Lotterywest. The program recently reached a two year milestone which was acknowledged by the EMRC with a celebration event. The program was also recognised by the Public Health Advisory Institute through the 2016 Children's Environment and Health Local Government Report Card Project.

The Bush Skills 4 Youth program arose from the findings of a 2013 Youth Futures Report undertaken by the EMRC, which highlighted the opportunity to tailor EMRC's successful environmental programs to youth. As behaviours learnt in childhood are often taken into adulthood, the Bush Skills 4 Youth program aimed to empower children to get outside and develop an awareness and appreciation of their local natural environment and support the development of future environmental volunteers. Each workshop was tailored to meet the needs of the group and many include activities such as bushwalks, water monitoring, identifying macroinvertebrates, photography and drawing and clean up, weeding and planting days.

The Bush Skills 4 Youth two year milestone was celebrated by the EMRC in September 2016. Over 1,500 children and 200 adults were involved in dozens of free workshops conducted in bushland areas during the life of the program. Forty children aged between four and sixteen, who had all previously been involved in workshops, attended the milestone event and experienced encounters with wildlife such as an echidna; woylie; possum; lizard; and a black cockatoo from Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and owls, a falcon and a wedge-tailed eagle from WA Birds of Prey Centre. Successful outcomes of the program were acknowledged throughout the day including a session where local council representatives from the EMRC's member Council youth and environment departments were invited to hear from the children about what they got out of the program.

On 9 December 2016, Bush Skills 4 Youth received a Certificate of Commendation in the Nature Play category through the 2016 Children's Environment and Health Local Government Report Card Project by the Public Health Advisory Institute. The Local Government Children's Environment and Health Report Card project has been operating in Western Australia since 2011. The aim of the project is to encourage local governments to develop and implement policies, programs and initiatives that promote the health and wellbeing of young people. The EMRC is committed to achieving environmental sustainability through conservation of natural resources, management of impacts and community involvement. The EMRC also recognises the commitment of children and their families to the program, the support from Lotterywest and the hard work of staff.

For more information on Bush Skills 4 Youth, please contact Catherine Levett, Environmental Projects Officer, on (08) 9424 2244 or email Catherine.Levett@emrc.org.au

Earth Carers Graduate

The EMRC continued running Earth Carers courses in 2016 with sessions held in May and November. Each course consisted of five sessions over three weeks with over 30 people attending courses throughout the year.

The first session of the course is often a favourite as participants have the opportunity to try lifting a bin in to a rubbish collection truck and speak with a collection driver and hear about the issues they face in their job. This session also looks at waste in Western Australia and who is responsible for what.

Other course highlights included tours of the Red Hill Waste Management Facility and the SMRC Recycling Facility, making samples of green cleaning products, exploring the 5 R's and learning the best ways to avoid, reduce and recycle waste and participating in composting and worm farming workshops. Participants also hear inspirational talks from previous Earth Carers, as well as assisting at a Plastic Free July community event, EnviroFEST and the Greener Garden Festival.

In conjunction with Mindarie Regional Council and Western Metropolitan Regional Council, 14 EMRC Earth Carers volunteered at the Perth Royal Show and five EMRC Earth Carers volunteered at the Garden Festival in conjunction with Mindarie Regional Council in 2016.

For more information on Earth Carers courses or to register your interest, please contact Bronwyn Lee, Waste Education Officer, on (08) 9424 2271 or email Bronwyn.Lee@emrc.org.au

truck earth carers

Photo 4 Earth Carers visit to the Swan Depot

Photo 5 Earth Carers participating in a composting workshop

'Healthy Wildlife, Healthy Lives'

The EMRC, in partnership with Murdoch University and supported by Lotterywest, commenced the 'Healthy Wildlife, Healthy Lives' -- A One Health Project earlier this year. The collaborative project aims to engage communities in protecting and enhancing wildlife conservation and increase their knowledge about wildlife in the urban environment.

Perth's Eastern Region was selected as the pilot location for this project due to:

  • the urban, peri-urban and rural communities represented in such close proximity to the Perth CBD;
  • the perceived level of high interaction with wildlife in the region, with greater risk to wildlife health and conservation and greater potential to generate more community empathy for wildlife;
  • the broad base of known wildlife populations and species within the region; and
  • the benefit of the EMRC's existing knowledge and involvement with community engagement, communication and education.

A Healthy Wildlife Reference Group has been formed with key stakeholders, including representatives from the community and local wildlife rehabilitation centres. The development of a Healthy Wildlife website is well underway with the website expected to be launched in March 2017 to coincide with World Wildlife Day. The website will be used to provide information on parasitic disease and reporting of parasitic disease in wildlife as well as wildlife nutrition.

A community engagement process was undertaken in November 2016 to identify key messages that will resonate with the community about the project. This process included an online survey completed by 882 people across the state, 56 face-to-face surveys and 15 structured phone conversations with local people from Perth's Eastern Region. The community messages will be used to create a sustainable education model that can be applied in communities beyond Perth's Eastern Region once the pilot project has finished.

For more information on the 'Healthy Wildlife, Healthy Lives' project, please contact Catherine Nind, Environmental Projects Officer, on (08) 9424 2212 or email Catherine.Nind@emrc.org.au

Council and committee meeting dates

Meeting dates for 2016 are available online:

EMRC Council

EMRC Committees