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Sustainability initiative piloted in Albury recognised at a national level

Thursday 27 April 2023

AlburyCity has received a high commendation for their Greening the Green program, as part of from Keep Australia Beautiful’s Sustainable Communities Tidy Towns Awards

These awards bring together community leaders, environmental champions, young legends and waste warriors from every corner of our great country to share experiences, learn from and inspire each other.

In 2021, AlburyCity partnered with Clean Up Australia to introduce a trial program to recycle soft plastics through two local sporting clubs, North Albury Football Netball Club and Melrose Football Club. By participating, the clubs would be rewarded with new equipment made from the recycled plastic.

AlburyCity took a hands on approach with the clubs, registering them for the trial program and meeting with club members to go through the online toolkit provided by Clean Up Australia.

Council also provided both clubs with collection stands, bags, signage and other promotional material, and collected the soft plastics to pass on to the recycler for processing.

The clubs went about collecting the soft plastics in different ways. Melrose Football Club encouraged their players to collect soft plastics at home and bring them in on home game days, along with collection from the canteen. North Albury Football Netball Club collected soft plastics from their canteen and kitchen on training nights and game days.

The trial ran for four months from May to August 2021. In total, 180kgs of soft plastics were recycled during the trial, and were converted into park benches for each of the clubs.

Clean Up Australia covered all costs relating to transport of the pre-processed soft plastics. The material was collected and provided to Plastic Forests, a local plastic recycling firm who provided the material to REPLAS to make the park benches.

AlburyCity Mayor Kylie King said it was a wonderful reflection of our community’s desire to work together and show innovation in reducing waste and recycling.

"During the development of our Towards Albury 2050 Community Strategic Plan, our community told us they wanted Albury to be a leader in resource management and circular economy."

"Initiatives like Greening the Green show us just how easy it is to make a small change to how we dispose of everyday materials like soft-plastics, and how it can be re-purposed into something useful, directing it away from landfill," Mayor King said.

The results and learnings from the trial are being used by Clean Up Australia to engage with other sporting clubs across NSW to implement soft plastics recycling, as well as reducing their reliance on these materials.

Sporting clubs can register their interest in being involved in their own Greening the Green campaign on the Clean Up Australia website.