PECWAG: Port Environment Centre Waste Advisory Group

PECWAG: Port Environment Centre Waste Advisory Group

Meet a group of motivated individuals who are championing sustainability in their local community

PECWAG is a group of passionate individuals, trying to influence policy and divert waste from landfill in their local community.

Laura Carrington formed PECWAG in 2019 after being a part of another environmental group, the Adelaide Waste Collective. Laura wanted to bring something similar to her local area and brought together a group of people all passionate about reducing waste.

PECWAG’s Mission

PECWAG values the community and environment and hopes to achieve positive outcomes through collaborative planning and action. Core values which provide the foundation for the decisions and actions of the group include:

  • Learning and sharing information
  • Collaborating with like-minded people
  • Sharing local wins
  • Identifying and forming solutions for concerns around waste management/resource recovery
  • Respecting differences in abilities to recover resources in different industries and households
  • Creating behavioural change in our communities to improve resource recovery

Community involvement, meetings and members

The members of PECWAG come from a diverse range of backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common; their desire to champion environmental sustainability. Individual members realise the impact waste is having on the environment and are passionate about minimising this to ensure the health of the planet and future generations. The group consists of local community members, Port Environment Centre volunteers and City of Port Adelaide Enfield waste management staff.

The members take on different roles and responsibilities, dependent on their experience and areas of interest. Council waste management staff provide insight into the waste industry and guidance regarding state and national policies and valuable perspectives on waste management. Locals and volunteers provide important perspective and knowledge about the community and the environment. The members work together to brainstorm ideas, work on projects and engage with the community. The members are passionate about the group because of it’s strong team dynamics which allows them to collaborate with other like-minded individuals that also want to take positive action.

PECWAG partners with a range of different stakeholders including the Port Environment Centre, City of Port Adelaide Enfield staff, Cleanaway, local cafes and childcare centres. 

The members of PECWAG meet monthly at the Port Environment Centre to plan their next actions, work on upcoming projects and share their passion for the environment with each other. Being hosted by the Port Environment Centre allows the group to have access to a free space to hold regular evening meetings. In 2020 they transitioned to Zoom meetings and managed to keep momentum going through the Covid-19 Pandemic. The members were thrilled to be able to catch up in person and continue their work after the easing of restrictions in South Australia.

Projects

PECWAG is interested in reducing waste through:

  • Resource recovery- recovering objects that would usually go to landfill,
  • Reducing food waste and supporting food waste to organics,
  • Recycling and waste education to promote proper waste disposal practices.

Some examples of things they have worked on include:

  • Presenting at the Port Adelaide Environment Forum for the topic ‘Resource Revolution’ providing insight into the waste crisis and offering tangible solutions at the community level
  • Researching and establishing a Resource Recovery Depot at Port Environment Centre, a place for people to drop off certain items to be rehomed, re-used or recycled (corks, glass jars, pens and textas, reading glasses and x-rays)
  • Providing input and feeding ideas and proactive solutions back into council
  • Creating a Google Map identifying cafes and restaurants returning organics to local soils, and highlights local businesses acting sustainably and ensuring their food scraps are composted- You can add new additions to the map here
  • Offering to volunteer as ‘bin buddies’ at community events to help the public to correctly use organics and recycling bins
  • Updating and maintaining the Recycling Guide for common items here in the Port Adelaide area
The Resource Recovery Station at the Port Environment Centre!

The future of PECWAG

In 2021, the group aims to continue their fight for a sustainable community. They hope to collaborate with council to make effective changes in the area and initiate projects which actively help to improve resource recovery and minimise waste to landfill.

PECWAG will carry on passionately spreading the message of mindful consumption and waste disposal to minimise the ecological impact of waste.

PECWAG were recently nominated for the Emerging Community Group of the Year Award at the City of Port Adelaide Enfield’s Australia Day Awards, 2021. Congratulations on building a new local group and we look forward to what is to come.

If you’re interested in connecting with PECWAG please reach out to them directly via Laura or through the Port Environment Centre.

Want to start something similar in your area?

All you need is to gather together a few others also passionate about reducing waste,

find a place to meet and then see where your ideas take you.

We’d love to hear how you go.

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