drumMUSTER marks 25 mil­lion drum mile­stone

Australian Farmers & Dealers Journal - - NEWS -

WHEN Western Aus­tralian farmer Nathan Davey de­liv­ered drumMUSTER's 25 mil­lionth drum on 20 March 2015 to the Gooma­lling col­lec­tion site, he had no idea what it sig­ni­fied for the thou­sands of peo­ple in­volved with the pro­gram over the past 16 years. For stu­dents at Gooma­lling Pri­mary School and Sa­cred Heart Catholic School, it meant Nathan's drums would con­trib­ute valu­able funds to­wards school camps, equip­ment and other es­sen­tial needs. “I started us­ing drumMUSTER be­cause the prop­erty I bought was lit­tered with drums from the pre­vi­ous owner,” Mr Davey said. “I now seek out drumMUSTER el­i­gi­ble con­tain­ers be­cause I know the pro­gram aligns it­self with high qual­ity chem­i­cals.” For Doug Sewell, Pres­i­dent of Gooma­lling Shire Coun­cil and long-time drumMUSTER sup­porter and in­spec­tor, the mile­stone con­tainer in­di­cated a job well done. “Not only did Nathan de­liver the 25 mil­lionth drum, but he was also the first per­son to de­liver his agvet con­tain­ers to the Gooma­lling col­lec­tion site when it first opened in April 2002,” said Mr Sewell. “Over 80,000 empty con­tain­ers have been col­lected by the coun­cil since then, with 80% of chem­i­cal users in the Gooma­lling district par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gram. When we first started, farm­ers would turn up with dirty con­tain­ers in a jumble. Now they know to prop­erly rinse and sort them be­fore de­liv­ery. This makes my job so much eas­ier.” drumMUSTER Na­tional Pro­gram Man­ager Al­lan McGann said the pro­gram has come a long way since its first col­lec­tion in early 1999. “The pro­gram has gone from strength to strength. We started with yearly col­lec­tions of around one mil­lion con­tain­ers, but are now edg­ing to­wards two mil­lion con­tain­ers per an­num,” he said. “This goes to show the grow­ing sup­port drumMUSTER has gar­nered. We've es­tab­lished our­selves as a valu­able pro­gram for farm­ers and grow­ers. We're here to stay.” 25 mil­lion con­tain­ers rep­re­sents over 30,000 tonnes of ma­te­ri­als which have avoided land­fill. Once col­lected, the con­tain­ers are shred­ded or gran­u­lated and trans­formed into new prod­ucts like plas­tic ca­ble cov­ers, wheelie bins, road signs and bol­lards. “The great thing about drumMUSTER is that it's changed the habits of peo­ple who use agvet chem­i­cals. With a good foot­print of col­lec­tion points and greater ac­cess, it is now much eas­ier for chem­i­cal users to re­cy­cle their con­tain­ers,” said Mr McGann. The pro­gram's re­gional con­sul­tant for Western Aus­tralia, Be­van Hen­der­son, agreed. “There have been var­i­ous changes to the size of chem­i­cal con­tain­ers over the years, and con­se­quently, farm­ers have had to change the way they op­er­ate to ac­com­mo­date this. Al­most all of the farm­ers who par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram now are re­peat cus­tomers be­cause they find drumMUSTER a vi­tal tool and good farm stew­ard­ship.” While most com­pounds are man­aged by lo­cal coun­cils at waste man­age­ment sites and trans­fer sta­tions, oth­ers are op­er­ated by com­mu­nity groups and char­i­ties. “drumMUSTER con­tin­ues to sup­port var­i­ous com­mu­nity groups across Aus­tralia as they bring about en­vi­ron­men­tal change in ru­ral re­gions. We have seen a note­wor­thy in­crease in par­tic­i­pa­tion over the past few years with 119 com­mu­nity groups now in­volved in the pro­gram. They have col­lected an im­pres­sive 3.5 mil­lion drums and raised $880,000 be­tween them,” Mr McGann said. In the Gooma­lling Shire alone, seven com­mu­nity groups have ben­e­fited from the pro­gram. These range from lo­cal schools to the Lyons Club, Coun­try Women's As­so­ci­a­tion, St John Am­bu­lance Ser­vice, Senior Cit­i­zens group and Sports Coun­cil, who have shared $16,000 be­tween them. The new mile­stone comes less than two years af­ter drumMUSTER re­ceived the 20 mil­lionth drum in NSW, sig­ni­fy­ing the in­cred­i­ble growth the pro­gram has ex­pe­ri­enced. The record was cel­e­brated with an event on 25 March 2015 in Guild­ford, Western Aus­tralia, to thank all the peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties in­volved in the pro­gram's success. “drumMUSTER is lead­ing the way in prod­uct stew­ard­ship. We thank agvet chem­i­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers, lo­cal govern­ment and pro­gram users for their com­mit­ment to shar­ing in the re­spon­si­bil­ity for a sus­tain­able fu­ture in Aus­tralian agriculture,” said Mr McGann. • De­tails: www.drummuster.com.au

Nathan Davey, Kevin Ryan, Doug Sewell and Be­van Hen­der­son at the Gooma­lling col­lec­tion site.

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