While our oceans and our reefs are choking under the weight of our addiction to plastic, a local group have quietly gone about continuing their work of supporting and promoting the growing consumer demand for conservation.
In 2016 Mullum Cares co-ordinated a town wide action that resulted in the Mullum IGA removing their plastic bags permanently, long before other supermarkets finally did, and the successful crowdfunding campaign for the filtered drinking and water refill station that council installed out front of Santos on Burringbar St.
Following on from their first festival operation running a wash station at the Byron Spirit Festival in 2017, Mullum Cares has worked alone and in partnership with Green Music Australia at many of the big local events, pioneering projects that focus on the fact that most waste to landfill is avoidable at these contained events, and that new systems and regulations are simply required to be piloted and then implemented to swap disposable options for reusable ones.
In July last year, Splendour in the Grass (SITG) gave Mullum Cares the opportunity to pilot the collection and transportation of drink containers that attract the 10 cent container deposit refund from the North Byron Parklands to our nearest bulk container depot at the Lismore Materials Recovery Facility.
Mullum Cares volunteers loaded and unloaded over 130,000 bagged containers into their rented removal van and a trailer and drove to Lismore and back 7 times; netting over 10K for the Not-For-Profit community organisation.
In 2018 Keep Australia Beautiful NSW introduced a new category to their annual Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Awards to recognise groups making the most of the new Container Deposit Scheme called the Return and Earn Litter Prevention Award.
Mullum Cares was awarded a Highly Commended in this category.
As none of the groups’ members were able to attend the award ceremony in Orange last November, Peter Bruce and Marta Scuccuglia, the deposit schemes CEO and Community Engagement Manager respectively, visited Mullumbimby recently to present the award to Mullum Cares’ Sasha Mainsbridge and Susie Forster and Max Tischler from Splendour in the Grass was invited to share in the accolades.
Mullum Cares founder and president, Sasha Mainsbridge, said recognition and promotion, like this award, and the lengths that Peter and Marta are going to share the stories of groups, maximises the benefit to community groups of the deposit scheme. ‘We believe we are ideally placed to continue this partnership with SITG, and other local events, as we intend to use the funds to not only purchase assets for our Library of STUFF, but particular assets like camping gear that we know our members want and festivals can also benefit from, with the introduction of an additional hire service that we’re proposing they assist us to pilot this year.’
The Library of STUFF will open on April 6 inside the grounds of the Byron Community College in Mullumbimby.
This is another great story of collaboration between the College, Mullum Cares, the Mullumbimby Repair Café and other groups poised to make this community asset a must have membership.
For more info check out Facebook Library of Stuff Mullumbimby and website libraryofstuff.org.au.