Project provides opportunities in Bunbury

Earlier this year Activ’s Bunbury Property Care team completed more than 6,000 bin audits in the South West as part of a joint Bin Audit program with the City of Bunbury, and the results of their work have already shown a reduction in landfill operations.

City of Bunbury Mayor Jaysen de San Miguel said the project came about following the City’s longstanding relationship with Activ, and was funded through a grant with the Western Australian Local Government Association.

“Activ and the City have had a long relationship in a number of different projects spanning over some time; they range from some maintenance works around the city, looking at demolition works… and more recently now our bin tagging and educational work through our waste strategies,” he said.

The project saw the Activ team focused on data collection, taking a quick peek in residential bins to see what people were placing in each bin and attaching corresponding tags to help in educating residents. That data was then collected, which informed the City about why some green waste bins were being rejected and where some more education for residents could be helpful.

“That data is already showing a reduction in the bins that are being returned,” Mayor de San Miguel said. “So, by collecting this data and being able to educate has been a huge part of reducing landfill operations… it’s a great result.”

Activ Property Care Production Coordinator Jason Isaac said Activ was thrilled to work on the bin tagging project.

“We saw it as an opportunity for our employees to broaden their skills and get involved with the community,” he said.

“This year was the first year that the City of Bunbury and WALGA were using an app to collect the data – they used to use a paper form before – so our employees got to learn a little bit of technology on how that worked, why we were collecting the data, and so on.

“The employees also got to learn how to read a map which they really liked, and also learn what goes in a recycling bin, and the impact on the environment, which they did really learn a lot from.

“They also enjoyed being out on the streets talking to the public directly and having a face-to-face communication with them; they found it really rewarding.”

Activ Property Care employee Jessica was one of the team members on the ground for the project. Her favourite part was learning to use a map, entering the data in the app, and she said found the job really important.

“I feel quite good [about doing the project] because it’s a good thing,” she said. “It’s a good education, so when someone asks you what you’re doing, you can explain why… and it’s good for landfill.”

Mayor de San Miguel said being able to include Activ in the project was a great success.

“There’s a great workforce out there [through Activ] and being able to activate them through a number of projects and works on our team has been great for the City,” he said.

“A number of local governments have been speaking to the City about the process we went through with the project so it’s very encouraging.”

Mr Isaac said the team were keen for the next bin tagging project to start.

“They said they enjoyed it, to this very day they still talk about it, and they’re always asking me when we’re having another bin tagging program coming up, which is really good,” he said.

“I think they enjoy being out into the open air, it’s something different for them, and they loved learning new skills – that’s what they found really important.”