Published On: February 10th, 2016

Talking bins, artwork and a panda – these are a few of the ways we’ll be looking at recycling in 2016.

Keep Australia Beautiful, supported by the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation, has announced its grant recipients for 2016, and includes some very creative approaches to recycling.

Time for a chat
On the Murray River in north-eastern Victoria, Wodonga plans to get their town talking about recycling – literally.

The Wodonga City Council’s proposal to develop talking bins has earned the locals $8000 in grant money, as one of the 90 recipients of this year’s Beverage Container Recycling Grants, courtesy of the Keep Australia Beautiful Campaign.

The idea arose to fit the town’s recycling bins with “voice boxes” that would speak when rubbish was placed in them – a fun way to encourage recycling among the younger generation.

Rolled out for the first time at the annual Wodonga Children’s Fair, Kellie Miller, events co-ordinator with the City of Wodonga, says they were a wonderful success.

“The talking bins were a great addition; encouraging children, parents and grandparents to have fun and learn about recycling at the same time,” Kellie said.

“The grant enables our community to learn and engage with recycling in an interactive way, so we really are thankful to receive it and be able to enhance education within our community.”

Perth Zoo pointing the way
With just under $500,000 in grant money distributed across 81 Australian communities last year, the campaign was successful in recycling 590 tonnes of beverage containers (or about 21 million 600ml drink bottles – meaning almost one for every person in Australia).

Among the recipients of last year’s community grants was Perth Zoo, who put together a proposal to increase their recycling rates from 10 per cent to 35 per cent – meaning they would recycle an extra seven tonnes annually.

Since implementing the proposal in March 2015, Daniel Baker, sustainability coordinator at Perth Zoo, almost immediately noticed the change.

“We used the Keep Australia Beautiful grant to revamp all 100 public bins within the zoo,” Daniel said.

“Since the bins have been upgraded the site has reported a 34 per cent increase in recycling, so as you can imagine we are very pleased with the result.”

Daniel Baker, sustainability coordinator at Perth Zoo, one of last year’s community grant recipients. The grant assisted in increasing the zoo’s recycling rates by 25 per cent – resulting in an extra seven tonnes recycled annually! Photo credit: Perth Zoo.

The Keep Australia Beautiful Beverage Container Recycling Community Grants have been offered since 2010, with the support of the Coca-Cola Foundation.

Designed to encourage recycling in remote and vulnerable communities, the Keep Australia Beautiful campaign has undoubtedly been successful in achieving just that.

“Without this funding, these projects might not have come to fruition,” said Philip Robinson, the Keep Australia Beautiful National Chief Executive.

“In turn, they have allowed us to communicate extensively with local communities and show how reducing litter and increasing public place recycling can positively impact both the environment and the community’s pride and sense of belonging.”

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