Recycling drums for the local community

By Morgan Dyer

There was a long line of trucks waiting to recycle thousands of chemical drums outside Allen Shields' property in Cosgrove on Thursday, August 22.

For the past five years, Dookie Lions Club has been helping save the environment while raising vital funds for the local community by taking part in the DrumMUSTER program.

The scheme has been running in Australian farming communities for the past 20 years and provides an easy, environmentally friendly way of disposing of empty farm chemical containers.

For every chemical drum collected, the club receives 25 cents from the government, which goes directly towards helping the local community.

Dookie Lions president and program co-ordinator Peter McManus said it was a great opportunity to raise money for the local community while also helping farmers clear their properties.

“Today was one of our biggest days, as we collected 3850 drums,” Mr McManus said on Thursday.

“A lot of farmers unfortunately used to just put them in a heap and just light a match, which is very toxic, or bury them in a hole,” he said.

Once the drums are inspected, sorted and collated by the club they are collected by a recycling company and turned into a number of different items, including new chemical drums.

Since 2014 the club has collected more than 35,000 drums, which has raised more than $12,000 for local people, groups, schools and charities.

In June the club was recognised for its outstanding contributions to the DrumMUSTER program and was nominated for the Community Group of the Year Award at the Agsafe Awards in Brisbane.

The club was one of three groups from across Australia shortlisted for the award.

Mr McManus said nearly 90 per cent of growers in the Greater Shepparton region took part in the drum collection program.

“We are providing a service and the farmers appreciate it very much and are glad to get rid of them,” he said.

“So it’s a win for us, the local community, and a win for farmers,” he said.

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