Sustainable Scouts

Whitehorse News - August 2020

The 1st/8th Blackburn Scouts were successful recipients of a SustainabilityGrant from Council late last year. Scout Leader Lesley Eckfield submitted a grant proposal for “separation at the source” recycling bins intended for Scouts to collect rubbish and separate recycling from landfill and soft plastic whilst away on camps.

Lesley had noticed how much food and packaging waste was being collected on camps that were then disposed of into landfill when Scouts returned home. She offered an example of a slab of fruit boxes that come wrapped in six packs of plastic which are then in a box thatis also wrapped in plastic.

The bins purchased with the grant havebeen used once for a camping trip, prior to COVID-19 and provided more than enough space in each of the appropriate recycle bins for the group of 18 Scouts and their leaders to collect, store and deposit their rubbish right.

Scouts on the trip said that they learntabout the bins by using them whilst away. There was an initial briefing about what could go into each bin. By the end of the time away, one of the Scouts, Luke confirmed, “at the end of the weekend, we all understood what could go into each bin.” The bins focus on separating recycling at the source. Many of the Scouts did not know about the difference between soft and hard plastics prior to the purchase and use of the new bins. 

The bins include Yellow for co-mingling recycling, White for soft plastic, Red for landfill and maroon buckets for food scraps. Lesley said the Scouts enjoyed the pedal action to open the bin lids and joked that it was easier than having to remove the bin lids with their hands. 

Lesley has shared the success story of the new recycling system at Blackburn Scouts with other Scout groups across Whitehorse. She hoped that other groups might also get involved in recycling initiatives and she was met with a positive response.

Blackburn Scouts have also started recycling better at their Hall during regular meetings. This initiative has helped to better educate the Scout group about appropriate way to recycle and where recycling goes once it leaves the Scout Hall bins.

Above: Scouts, (L-R) James, Luke and Nic are proud to be doing more to recycle rubbish on Scout camping trips.