While the rest of Melbourne puts its recycling bins out every fortnight or so, up until recently residents of the Flemington public housing estate had no choice but to throw their cans and newspapers in the bin. That’s all starting to change, thanks to sustainability projects which the estate’s multicultural community are wholeheartedly embracing.
A recycling trial started on the estate in March, and the response has been so positive that there are hopes to expand it in the future. The 16 trial participants, most of whom are Vietnamese, have not only taken on the message, they’ve also got it right. Results so far show an encouragingly small percentage of the waste going into the recycling bins is non-recyclable.
The trial has involved two Vietnamese community workers, who have door knocked households to deliver recycling tubs and explain recycling, to people who may have never received this information in their own language before. The recycling tubs are designed to fit in the kitchen, and are then emptied by the householder into the bins at a central point.
The trial came about thanks to collaboration between Moonee Valley City Council, Flemington Neighbourhood Renewal and Environment Victoria, and is just one of a number of sustainability projects on the estate. Environment Victoria’s GreenTown program has been working with the estate’s East African community, training people to do household sustainability audits of homes in their community. So far it has worked with over 200 people.
Moonee Valley Mayor Cr John Sipek said council is pleased Flemington estate residents are taking up the challenge to recycle. “This trial is making recycling more accessible for Flemington estate residents, helping them to make a difference for the environment. It has demonstrated the keen appetite for recycling on the estate and hopefully, with more funding, this great collaborative project can be rolled out to the whole estate in future,” said Cr Sipek.
Flemington Neighbourhood Renewal and Environment Victoria are now busy with a new sustainability project which takes members of the estate’s Chinese, Vietnamese and East African communities to visit environmental sites like recycling plants to help the community engage even more with sustainability. This new project, called Flemington Green, and the GreenTown program are supported by the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund.
For more information, contact:
Nina Bailey, GreenTown Project Manager, Environment Victoria – 0404 330 348
Amber Stannard, Media Officer, Moonee Valley City Council – 9243 9133