The greatest direct influence the MRC can have on the environment at Tamala Park is through effective management of its waste recycling and disposal facilities and operations.
In running its own administrative operations, the MRC aims for sustainable practice through its efforts to:
- Maximise site scheme water efficiency
- Maximise building and appliance energy efficiency
- Maximise in-house waste reduction, reuse and recycling
MRC's policies and procedures include:
- Reduction in paper consumption through encouraging printing of electronic documents only where necessary, and double-sided printing where practical.
- Segregation of waste to encourage recycling. For example:
- Non-confidential paper which has only been used on one side. This is either made into small notebooks for use by staff or is placed in dedicated printing trays which users can select for printing.
- Confidential papers are shredded and used for animal bedding or for our on-site worm farm.
- Food scraps (excluding meat) and other organics are collected and used in the worm farm at the Tamala Park's education centre.
- The MRC uses decomposable cutlery and paper plates that are suitable for introduction to the worm farms or composting.
- Glass bottles and cans are collected and sent for recycling
- Non-reusable paper is collected and sent for recycling. MRC aims to close the loop by purchasing paper with recycled content where this is of acceptable quality.
- Grass clippings from around buildings are composted at the Tamala Park Education Centre.
- Encouragement of staff to obtain items and materials from the recycling centre for facility use in preference to purchasing new items where they are suitable.
- Installation of rainwater collection tanks have been installed around the facility to reduce reliance on scheme water.
- Energy efficiency measures include encouraging staff to set air conditioning thermostats and to turn off electrical lighting and appliances when not in use.
- The MRC purchases 75% landfill gas generated “renewable” energy.
How MRC Walks the Talk
Tamala Park staff have been invited to participate in their own community garden on site at the Education Centre. There are 6 individual allotment beds, including 3 raised garden bed fridges. The fridges have all been taken already and the remaining beds are available for winter plantings now. The same principles of using waste materials to generate the bed infrastructure and discarded organic material for the soil growing medium are used here as the other garden features.
Some of the materials used include fridges and sleepers for raised beds and grass clippings, prunings, weeds, coffee grounds, shredded paper (unsuitable for recycling bin), manure and straw are all used to create beautifully rich soil. Worm castings and worm farm liquid with ‘weed tea’ (drowned couch grass) then make delicious liquid nutrient for the growing plants.
Prunings from bushes on site used in compost wherever possible. A bi-product, glycerol, from production of bio-diesel on site from waste vegetable oil is used in compost at the Education Centre.
Workplaces with some outdoor space could look at community growing areas for staff as we often spend many hours at these locations and how fresh could dinner be to pick the veggies on the way home!