Community groups benefit from environmental group

Thursday, 25 May, 2006

A growing number of community groups around Australia are raising much needed funds by participating in the drumMUSTER environmental program.

Vernon Keighley, drumMUSTER Program Manager, said groups including Apex, Lions, Rotary and school P&C Associations were assisting collections at Council sites around Australia, because they earned a small amount for each clean, dry drum deposited in Council depots.

"On average, each drum successfully stored in the depots earns each group a minimum of 17 cents a drum, or more if they're involved in promoting drumMUSTER in their local regions. In broad acre farming areas, these amounts can really add up," Keighley said.

"drumMUSTER not only benefits from the resources which community groups provide, but we're finding that increasing numbers of group members are undertaking our inspectors' training to provide them with added expertise to run the collection sites," he said.

For Peter Drage, Shire Councillor, farmer, drumMUSTER inspector and member of the Cranbrook Apex Club in south west Western Australia, the benefits of participating in the most recent collections in March are tangible.

"Last year in the Frankland area, we had 3000 drums delivered in one day, and in Cranbrook we've received 300 to 400 in this last collection period," Drage said.

"On my farm, we still use 20 L drums. We make sure that when we empty them we triple rinse them, and put them aside. It's not a hard process, and I'm willing to do it because it gets the drums off my property," he said.

"Becoming a registered drumMUSTER inspector involved a day course with Cranbrook shire. We spent a full day going through the process of inspecting drums. We had to bring in our own drums and clean them, and there was training about hazards, drum sizes and paperwork. At the end of the day we were fully accredited.

"Apex gets the funds from the drums we collect, inspect and store, so it's a community service as well."

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