Trish Pepper is the type of person who makes you feel you should stop procrastinating and just do it! Her enthusiasm is contagious, and she might just inspire you to have a go. Trish saw the program on the ABC - War on Waste and that triggered her to inspire other people to join her and make a difference.

In Emerald Park, Old Broome, hidden away just off Herbert Street, there has been a transformation into a waste recycle hub and gathered a small community together to do their bit on recycling.

“Watching the War on Waste ABC series just turned a switch in my head, and I thought – we can do this,” says Trish “The first thing was to get the neighbours involved. So, a leaflet was printed, and I knocked on all the doors to see it people would come on board with the idea. We all had a ‘street meeting’ about what we could do. We just met on the road, brought a chair and a drink, congregating at the T-junction. We wrote our names and address on a bit of paper and made a list of things we could do. Twenty-five people came! From there it just naturally grew.”

“I asked Renaye from Toxfree to talk to us about recycling and what we could and couldn’t put in our recycle bins. That was most helpful and Renaye was able to answer lots of questions. She also supplied us with old bins which we have installed as composting stations. We put our food scraps, coffee grounds and green garden waste in. This is a great way to reduce land fill and make compost for our gardens. We had some kids in the street paint and decorate the bins as a holiday fun activity. One of the neighbours has chooks so she ingeniously cut a hinged hatch in her fence into the chook pen for us to throw selected scraps for her happy chooks. There’s a little girl around the corner who collects all our egg cartons for her school.” “We have a street library – made out of an old drum with some shelving hanging on the fence, so you can just come along and borrow a book. Yes, it will have to be brought in when the wet season starts, that’s okay.

We are considering a ‘Contents of your Fridge and Pantry Dinner’, where you look in your freezer/fridge/pantry and prepare a dish instead of shopping for new ingredients.” “I collect coffee grounds and fruit pulp from the juicing machine each day from the Good Cartel Café and shredded paper from our office which goes into the composting bins. Wine and champagne bottles are upcycled by Nicola who turns them into beautiful glasses and objects – check out her Facebook page - Upcycle Revolution. Neighbours drop off plastic containers to give to Mark Norval in Derby for his artists to use when painting. Yoghurt containers and cut down milk bottles are examples of containers that can be reused.

The Shire of Broome has given us permission to use a blocked off laneway which runs between the houses and used to be a thoroughfare. We haven’t decided how we are going to use this yet, it is early days. We are considering a long table dinner for our community, a vegetable garden or putting our composting stations there. We shall see.”

“We meet casually to share ideas and see what’s working. We meet on the street corner and have a chat. It has brought us closer together. I know my neighbours’ names: what they do. We wave, shay hi, have a chat. We have a Facebook page to regularly update people on what is going on. Foe people without Facebook, we produce a newsletter which we email to keep people in the loop.”

“We are fortunate with only three small streets which end in a cul-de-sac, so it is a perfectly contained community.”

“Time will tell where this will head, but in the meantime it’s great to get to know my neighbours and change the way we recycle, reuse and reduce our waste. We’re waiting for our compost to mature – I can’t wait to share it around on our gardens.”

“Recently, the Shire of Broome announced that there wouldn’t be a “Cyclone Season Verge Pick Up” this year, so we got together and as a community asked residents to put their items out on the verge over two weekends, and a couple of us loaded the waste into utes and trailers and took it to the tip. It didn’t take long, and it made a difference to those without a trailer.”

Note from the Author:

If you have time on your holiday, take a drive along Rivergum Avenue, look out for the composting bins, the library and if you are lucky, you might find the chook hatch – make sure you read the sign and feed the correct scraps.

Also, if you want further information on War on Waste – just click on this link