Stuart Torrance, Australian Men’s Shed Association
drumMUSTER is a great recycling and fundraising success story. Speaking to a member of the team at the Henty Agricultural Field Days some years ago, I learned that container recycling was indeed alive and well in regional and remote areas of Australia… but not for small glass and plastic soft drink bottles or aluminium cans. This is a case of go big or go home.
drumMUSTER provides Australian agricultural and veterinary chemical users with an easy, environmentally-friendly recycling pathway for eligible empty AgVet chemical containers across rural Australia.
The program began with one collection at Gunnedah in May 1999 and has since held over 76,000* collections resulting in the collection of over 40,574,500* chemical containers.
This huge amount of plastic has been diverted from landfill to be recycled by approved recycling organisations for reusable products such as wheelie bins, road signs, fence posts and bollards.
*Statistics as of 2022
Community group fundraising
There are currently 143 drumMUSTER community groups across Australia, who have collected more than 5 million drums and raised in excess of $1.2 million. These include local charities, rural fire authorities, service clubs, school support groups, sporting clubs and Landcare groups.
Nationwide, 10 Men’s Sheds have been involved in the program.
In 2020, the Pingelly Men’s Shed (WA) held a drumMUSTER collection with over 2,000 drums collected from farmers across the Wheatbelt region.
What’s involved in participating?
When farmers and growers deliver their AgVet containers to a drumMUSTER collection site, trained inspectors assess each container to ensure it meets recycling standards. drumMUSTER provides the inspector training for correct handling, cleanliness, inspection and storage procedures, plus the reporting required to track the program’s performance at each site.
Once a community group’s inspector application is approved, nominated group members will receive training in drumMUSTER inspection processes and the community group will receive a fee for each container that passes inspection.
If your Shed is interested in participating, contact your Regional Consultant for an initial discussion: drummuster.org.au/our-people/your-local-regional-consultant