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Community group collects 30-millionth drumMUSTER container

Agsafe’s drumMUSTER program upheld its reputation as Australia’s most successful agricultural waste management operation, when the 30-millionth empty farm chemical container was collected on Tuesday.

The occasion was marked at a community event in the tiny town of Dookie near Shepparton, Victoria, where volunteers at the Dookie Lions Club collection site, received the 30-millionth container.

It was business as usual for local farmers delivering their empty chemical containers to the site, where the drums were inspected, loaded onto a mobile granulator for shredding, then transported to recycling processors.

With 814 sites nationwide operated by 360 councils and 142 community groups, the number of Australian agvet chemical users demonstrating their commitment to sound land use continues to grow.

drumMUSTER has already saved councils nationwide an impressive $31 million in landfill costs since 1999, by diverting eligible, empty containers to recycling schemes.

Agsafe General Manager, Alison Carmichael, said the popularity of the waste management program was growing fast.

“It took 14 years for the drumMUSTER program to collect 20 million containers and we have now reached 30 million in just four years, and can expect to reach 40 million in a similar timeframe,” she said.

“The program is truly unique. It was the first major industry-led product stewardship program and it will continue to deliver environmentally sound disposal options across the country for a long time to come.”

Dookie Lions Club, has collected 40,000 drums since 2013, raising $10,000 towards a public fitness station in Mary Street, Dookie.

Club member Peter McManus said it was a privilege for the small, rural club to be involved in such a significant, national event.

“Farmers tell us they’re so pleased to get rid of their accumulated, empty drums as they want to reduce their on-farm waste in an ethical way,” Mr McManus said.

“And it makes farmers happy that their efforts result in financial benefits for their community.

“This occasion makes Dookie Lions Club very proud and pleased to have contributed to all the ideals of drumMUSTER and with the uptake of the program by our district’s farmers.”