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New uniform leads to zero waste

News release
18 May 2022

In developing a new uniform for the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, staff set a goal to achieve zero waste to landfill in disposing of old South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management (SAMDB NRM) uniforms.

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board Project Officer Eilidh Wilson said together with the five other landscape boards, we set a goal to achieve zero waste going to landfill in disposing of the old NRM uniforms.

"The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board support a Carbon Action Committee (CAC) to improve the environmental performance of their operations," she said.

"When we transitioned to the new Landscape SA uniforms in 2021, the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board CAC wanted to achieve zero waste to landfill when we disposed of the old uniforms.

"The CAC worked on a process to reach our goal, pursuing many options before settling on a re-use option for old uniform items, using the hierarchy of waste minimisation as a guide.

"We worked with the Adelaide Remakery to remove the government logos and branding, so they could re-use and reinvent the garments,” she said.

New uniform leads to zero waste
Sorting and weighing old uniform items to go to the Adelaide Remakery.

This arrangement avoided landfill or the need to destroy the old uniforms, and the process was rolled out to all five landscape boards.

The program has diverted 503 uniform garments, which equates to 164 kg, from landfill and achieved its goal of zero wastage.

News of the zero waste process for old uniform disposal has spread beyond the Landscape SA boards.

Other large agencies, such as a local council and Green Industries SA, have made contact to find out more. This initiative project was nominated for a Premier’s Award for Excellence 2021.

Ms Wilson said it all starts with the first steps, and this work has been a tremendous first step.

"We have 'single-use plastics' reform in our state and now the scope and a suggested process to address 'single-use uniforms',” she said.

This project is supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from the landscape levies.

New uniform leads to zero waste
Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board Project officer Kate Graham with a patched NRM shirt ready for re-use.