Waste management is more than just collecting and disposing of rubbish. At the core of our business are the people who are passionate about delivering effective solutions at every step of the waste disposal process.
Debunking myths through education
Name: Rebecca Evered Role: Sustainability Manager, NSW Years with Cleanaway: 7 years
Rebecca heads a team of 14 education and sustainability professionals who help customers achieve resource recovery and diversion goals. The team also educates the younger community to encourage better waste and recycling habits. This year alone, the team met with over 26,000 members of the community in education programs all over Australia.
“One of the major issues we face is that recycling practices differ across the country. We also deal with the misconception that recyclables go straight to landfill – people wonder what’s the point of sorting? But it’s not true, everyone in this industry is 100% dedicated to make sure waste gets recycled because it’s better for us financially and better for the environment.” says Rebecca.
Saying what we do, doing what we say
Name: Kristy Barnes Role: Engineering Manager, QLD Years with Cleanaway: 2 years
Kristy oversees major projects from landfill construction to capping, and other construction-related initiatives.
“I’m proud to be part of Cleanaway” says Kristy. “The key to our efforts is doing what we say we will and maintaining our integrity, and a big part of that is complying with our license conditions. A lot more goes into the construction of landfill than meets the eye. Among many things, we’re putting good stormwater management control, managing our leachate to ensure no interaction between surface water and ground water, managing dust levels and ensuring the cell construction is delivered as planned.”
“I love what I do and I spend a lot of time at work so it’s pretty easy for me to get out of bed every day to work with good people, having lots of fun at work and working as a team doing good things for the environment.”
Health and safety with a smile
Name: Sean “Hollywood” Patterson Role: Operator – Landfill Years with Cleanaway: 9 months
Sean is from New York but was originally from the Caribbean. He came to Australia to seek better opportunities and found what he was looking for with Cleanaway. Sean operates the D9, which is the biggest bulldozer on site.
Sean explains, “With all the different types of trucks in landfill, we do not simply dispose of rubbish all over the place. We have to first ensure that the ground has been levelled and compacted enough for trucks and heavy vehicles to stay on the ground. And when the trucks do tip off, they won’t get tipped over. When the bigger vehicles enter, we make sure to spot them so that as they go up, they don’t lean too much to the sides.”
“Have you ever seen commercials with people whistling all the way to work because they’re so happy and positive? That’s me. My job is something I love doing – playing with big boys’ toys, making friends with truck drivers all over the place, so I know I am exactly where I am meant to be.” says Sean enthusiastically.
Recovering resources at every opportunity
Name: Danny Lemme Role: Resource Recovery Manager, NSW Years with Cleanaway: 4 years
Danny oversees recycling facilities in NSW, including our Eastern Creek facility that processes recyclables from the Return & Earn container deposit scheme.
According to Danny, plastic is a problem, but what we do with it matters more. “At the moment, our facilities are able to sort plastics, aluminium, other different materials, but very shortly we’ll be able to sort various grades of plastics into different colours, at a far greater pace than what we’re currently doing.
“When it comes to resource recovery, there’s a lot of truth and myth in what people see. Plastic bottles aren’t inherently bad – they’re safe, they’re convenient, they’re recyclable, but what matters is what people do with it once they’ve consumed it. The best thing they can do is to recycle and deposit them in a container deposit scheme like Return & Earn.”
Tackling contamination head on
Name: David Wyld Role: Operations Supervisor Years with Cleanaway: 8 years
Contamination is a big challenge when it comes to recycling, but David is tackling the problem head on.
“One of the biggest parts of my role is to look at our customers’ general waste bins and get an idea of what is being thrown out. When we look into them, we find different commodities such as organics, timber, commingled and other waste. We regard each waste stream as separate commodity types and are to be treated as potentially profitable. We could then offset what is being sent to landfill by recycling these commodities.”
“My take-home message for Australians would be to avoid contamination in your recycling bins. Look at the signs and indication on your bins and put waste in the right place – all important steps to preserve the value of the recycling.”
Cleanaway are committed to making a sustainable future possible through our total waste management solutions for industry, businesses, and communities. Contact us today.
Ever wondered what’s the point in recycling? Get the answer here.