2023 WasteSMART Brisbane Awards 

WasteSMART Councillors’ Choice Award 

WINNER: Queensland Children’s Hospital 

Finalists:  

  • Pallara State School 
  • Rotary Club of Brisbane Taylor Bridge 

WasteSMART Champions Award  

WINNER: The Worm Monger aka Hannah Churton 

Finalists:  

  • Sue Moller 
  • Eve Tramacchi O’Keeffe 

WasteSMART Community Award sponsored by Containers for Change Queensland   

WINNERS:

OzHarvest <19 members
Brisbane Tool Library 20+ members 

Finalists:  

  • Styling Station Australia 
  • Sandgate Bottle & Can Exchange 
  • Rocks Community Garden 
  • Recycling Hills District (RHD) 

WasteSMART Business Award sponsored by Cleanaway  

WINNERS:  

Howard Smith Wharves (implemented waste-reduction strategies)
RAIS Industries (waste is core function) 

Highly commended: MYMY 

Finalists:  

  • Goodfolk Cafe 
  • Vision HQ 
  • Finn Biogas 

WasteSMART Early Learning Award    

WINNER: Milestones Early Learning Centre, Everton Park 

Highly commended: Goodstart, Red Hill 

 Finalists:  

  • Jamboree Community Kindergarten 

WasteSMART Schools Award  

WINNERS: St Laurence’s College’s Urban Farm
Payne Road State School   

Finalists:  

  • Hillbrook Anglican School 
  • Balmoral State High School’s Ecomarines 
  • Hendra State School 
  • The Gap State School Sustainability Club

WasteSMART Outstanding Award  

WINNER:  Sue Moller

WasteSMART People’s Choice Award sponsored by The University of Queensland   

WINNER: St Laurence’s College’s Urban Farm

WasteSMART All-Star Award sponsored by Containers for Change Queensland   

WINNER: Save Our Supplies 

Highly Commended: Stationery Aid  

Finalists:  

  • eWaste Connection 
  • Tarragindi Community Garden
     

2022 WasteSMART Brisbane Awards 

WasteSMART Councillors’ Choice Award 

WINNER: Peter Garland 

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Mikah Wedemeyer and Lata Howey, Cannon Hill Anglican College 

Finalists: 

  • Repair Cafe Brisbane Bayside 

WasteSMART Champions Award  

WINNER: Danielle Munro, CircMed 

Finalists:  

  • Geneva Vanderzeil 
  • Ethan and Declan Heng 

WasteSMART Community Award sponsored by Containers for Change Queensland   

WINNERS: Stationery Aid & Project Yumi 

HIGHLY COMMENDED:  Care Kits for Kids Qld 

Finalists:  

  • Tarragindi Community Garden 
  • Rocks Community Garden 
  • Taringa Community Garden 

WasteSMART Business Award (19 or less employees) sponsored by Cleanaway  

WINNER: eWaste CONNECTION Kenmore 

Finalists: 

  • MYMY 
  • ART FOR EARTHLINGS 
  • Elysium Hair Brisbane 

WasteSMART Business Award (20 or more employees) sponsored by Cleanaway 

WINNER:  Circonomy (formerly known as World’s Biggest Garage Sale) 

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Biome 

Finalists: CircMed

WasteSMART Early Learning Award sponsored by IKEA North Lakes & Logan   

WINNER: Prior Street Child Care and Development 

Finalists: 

  • Staverton Kindergarten 
  • Avenues Montessori Children’s House 

WasteSMART Schools Award sponsored by Containers for Change Queensland  

WINNERS: Windsor State School & Mount Gravatt State High School 

Finalists:  

  • Marshall Road State School 
  • Lota State School 
  • St Peters Lutheran College  
  • The Gap State High School 

WasteSMART Outstanding Award sponsored by IKEA North Lakes & Logan   

WINNER: Tarragindi Community Garden 

WasteSMART People’s Choice Award sponsored by The University of Queensland   

WINNER: Mount Gravatt State High School 

WasteSMART All-Star Award 

WINNER: Renae McBrien 

Finalists:  

  • Claire Lane, Save our Supplies 
  • Holly and Charli Garrity 

2021 WasteSMART Brisbane Awards 

Councillors’ WasteSMART Choice Award

WINNER: Karana Downs & Surrounds Community Garden Hub

Creating a community compost hub to utilise waste food and materials that would have otherwise gone to landfill and repurposing them to enhance the local area, teach the local population how to repurpose waste, regenerate bushland, grow vegetables and assist in the repopulation of endangered species.

Finalists:

  • Leanne Hutton
  • LEAD Childcare Wooloowin

Brisbane’s WasteSMART Champions Award

WINNER: Renae McBrien

A passionate individual working towards a sustainable goal to ‘design out waste’ from all daily domestic and commercial transactions. Her goal to mitigate waste from Brisbane landfill, is growing and being achieved through her personal leadership to create small diversion and resource recovery projects. She has volunteered over 850 hours since establishing the Tarragindi Community Garden; mitigated 9 tonnes of domestic and commercial organic waste since January 2020; and has educated over 1200 hospital staff to understand responsible waste management and clinical recycling methods.

HIGHLY COMMENDED:

Holly & Charli Garrity

Two sisters who run multiple activities in the community including collecting 40k containers for recycling, running clean up events, collecting over 80k plastic lids to recycle into prosthetic limbs for kids, bush care rehabilitation and running quarterly fashion swap events.

Finalists:

  • Pamela Gibson

WasteSMART Community Award

JOINT WINNER: Ocean Crusaders Foundation Ltd

Are dedicated to keeping our waterways clean through hardcore clean ups, community group clean ups, new collection devices and their Caps Crusade. Their clean up program removed 54 tonne of debris from Brisbane over 58 days, and their community events had over 120 volunteers removing over 3 tonne of debris. Their Caps Crusade program has saved over 10 million caps from going to landfill, and their Automatic River Cleaner technology collect debris from the river 24/7.

JOINT WINNER: Tarragindi Community Garden

A community space that provides the local community with free harvest, garden produce, sustainable education sessions and drives their unique Recycling Hub. They have over 1000 social members and have giving out over 150 compost caddies that have rescued over 9 tonnes of food waste in the past 10 months.

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Care Kits for Kids Qld Inc

Collect donated fabric, wool and notions in the war on waste, and supply it to many community groups including partner In Stitches Brisbane, or individuals around Brisbane to create items to meet supplies needed for the Care Kits given to children in crisis or out-of-home care.

Finalists:

  • Save Our Supplies
  • eWaste Connection Limited
  • Moreton Island Protection Committee

WasteSMART Business Award

WINNER (<19 employees): Vessel Nundah

Helping households reduce their single-use plastic waste associated with their use of skincare and cleaning products. Their customers to date have avoided the production, shipping, use and disposal of approximately 20,000 x 500mL single-use plastic containers, by refilling with Vessel Nundah.

WINNER (>20 employees): Howard Smith Wharves

A food and beverage precinct ensuring the waste that is generated across the many outlets is separated, segregated, and recycled. Resource recovery initiatives include: food and compostable waste, glass, cooking oil, cardboard, steel food tins, coffee and ice cream cups, co-mingled recycling, soft plastics, printer cartridges, e-waste, battery bins, polystyrene and waxed cardboard boxes. They welcome many businesses, schools and community groups to come and learn about their sustainability practices.

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Northshore Street Food & Arts Markets Pty Ltd

The venue has been able to reduce weekly landfill contribution by 2/3, saving 76.34m3 from landfill on a weekly basis. Weekly they save around one tonne of food scraps for drought affected regional farmers to use as animal feed, recycle up to 900L of cooking oil, and recycle 32 cubic metres of cardboard. Other initiatives include recycling oyster shells and collections through Containers for Change from which income is donated to the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Finalists:

  • Olive Eco Hair
  • Luna and Sun
  • EarthCheck

WasteSMART Early Learning Award

WINNER: Bellbowrie Early Education Centre

Have implemented a new team of Sustainability Officers to look at the way waste is created in the centre and how it can be reduced. Activities include collecting containers, bottle caps for Ocean Crusaders, bread tags for the local Girl Guides, and batteries to be recycled; shredding waste paper to turn into paper bricks that families can use for fires, adding two new composting bins and worm farms for food waste, and collecting donated items from families to use in craft activities.

Finalists:

  • Avenues Early Learning Centre Jindalee
  • Avenues Early Learning Centre Bowen Hills

WasteSMART Schools Award

JOINT WINNER: Mt St Michael’s College

The environment group meet fortnightly and are looking at ways to make changes at the system level to maximise their waste reduction. Their five stage plan for the school includes implementing containers for change, school-wide commercial composting, compostable packaging at the school canteen, co-mingled recycling, and soft plastics recycling.

JOINT WINNER: Pallara State School Environment Club

This Environment Club consists of around 60 children from Year 3 to 6 who undertake a range of activities including a before-school session each Tuesday, including rostered collection of compost bins, worm farming, garden weeding and watering, plant propagation, environmental art, native animal nest box building and a subset of students running projects under the auspices of Eco-Marines. They also have an interest in native bees, having four hives on-site. Students host clean up events around school lunch areas, and sort through the rubbish to collect data for analysis.

Finalists:

  • Greenslopes State School P&C

Outstanding WasteSMART Award

WINNER: Save Our Supplies

Are addressing wastage occurring in hospitals by providing an innovative and cost-effective way of eliminating clean medical waste in our hospitals and repurposing it so it can be used by people in desperate need of better health care. They have partnered with 10 of Brisbane’s largest hospitals. Since Jan 2020 their volunteer network of 25 people have saved an estimated 2.5 tonnes of medical waste to be re-purposed, and have supplied $1.5m worth of medical supplies to international communities in need.

Finalists:

  • Care Kits for Kids Qld Inc
  • Howard Smith Wharves
  • Renae McBrien

People’s Choice WasteSMART Award

The public was invited to vote for the one winner in this category. This category comprises of finalists shortlisted by the judges across all categories.

WINNER: Mt St Michael’s College

The environment group meet fortnightly and are looking at ways to make changes at the system level to maximise their waste reduction. Their five stage plan for the school includes implementing containers for change, school-wide commercial composting, compostable packaging at the school canteen, co-mingled recycling, and soft plastics recycling.


2020 WasteSMART Brisbane Awards 

Councillors’ WasteSMART Choice Award

WINNER: Kingfisher Recycling Centre

Kingfisher Recycling Centre is a place for students to learn valuable skills while helping the environment. They have branched out into the community to become a place for volunteers and waste minimisation enthusiasts, and have recently because one of Council’s Community Composting Hubs.

Finalists:

  • Sonya Kerslake
  • Taringa Community Garden

Brisbane’s WasteSMART Champions Award

WINNER (6-17 years): Ethan Heng

Ethan has hosted 3 community clean up days with his mum that focus on educating other young participants about the environment. He collected 739 pieces of rubbish on his school break and shared this experience in his school newsletter.

WINNER (18+ years): Renae McBrien

Renae delivers vast waste reform and education across health care services in Brisbane, by introducing recycling streams that divert hospital waste to be reused and repurposed. She has delivered education on waste to over 1,000 people in the past year and has an engaged social media community. She was also responsible for setting up the Tarragindi Community Garden.

Finalists:

  • Christine Rafter
  • Manny Findlay

WasteSMART Community Award

WINNER #1: OzHarvest Brisbane

OzHarvest rescues surplus food that would otherwise goes to waste from commercial businesses and delivers that food at no cost to charities feeding vulnerable Australians. During COVID-19, they developed #HospoHeroes to provide over 7,000 healthy meals for families, international students and other vulnerable groups with the help of restaurants, kitchens and caterers.

WINNER #2: eWaste Connection

eWaste Connection operates an electrical waste recycling centre. As a community resource they offer valuable work experience for individuals with a disability or disadvantaged background, and volunteering opportunities for people in Brisbane’s western suburbs. They operate 6 days per week offering meaningful activities for over 70 persons with a disability. They also offer the community a convenient drop off location for unwanted e-waste.

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Repair Cafe Sandgate

Repair Cafe Sandgate provide a free meeting place where people can repair household items together with skilled volunteers. They have diverted almost 82kg from landfill and fixed 76% of the items brought in by visitors.

Finalists:

  • Ocean Crusaders Foundation
  • Northey Street City Farm
  • ReThink Store
  • Substation33

WasteSMART Business Award

WINNER (<5O Employees): Northshore Street Food and Art Markets

Northshore Street Food and Art Markets as owners of Eat Street Northshore have significantly reduced their general waste over the past 18 months, with their weekly landfill contribution reduced by 2/3, saving 76.34m2 from landfill each week.

WINNER (50+ Employees): Howard Smith Wharves

Howard Smith Wharves have achieved a landfill diversion rate of 81.85% with an aspiration goal to become zero-waste. They have initiated a take-back program where delivered goods are transferred to reusable tubs before being given back to suppliers. They implement recycle and resource activities that provide a social and environmental benefit.

Finalists:

  • Loop Growers
  • RECAN Create
  • Biome
  • Officeworks Adelaide Street

WasteSMART Schools Award

Winner (Primary School): Yeronga State School Green Team

Year 5 and 6 students in the Green Team meet weekly in four separate task forces to brainstorm, plan, and establish initiatives to help make their school more sustainable. The task force tackle Nude Food, Composting, Recycling and Litter.

Winner (Secondary School): Hillbrook Anglican School

Hillbrook has a goal to be zero waste and sort their bins into soft plastics, compostable, recyclables and landfill. They divert 1000L of waste each week. Their tuckshop has transitioned to compostable package and their waste management strategies complement other initiatives around the school such as teaching Circular Economy units with project-based learning, energy reduction campaigns and land for wildlife work.

Highly Commended #1: Lota State School

Students are committed to reduce waste through weekly wrapper free lunch days, emu parades, annual toy and book swaps and educational programs about the effects of litter. They have started a bottle top collection to be recycled into buoys through Ocean Crusaders, are part of the Containers for Change program, collect plastics for Redcycle, and compost their food scraps.

Highly Commended #2: Calamvale Community College

Calamvale Community College run a joint community and school initiative to maximise environmental education, student outcomes and waste reduction. They recycle approximately 10,000 containers per month with over $10,000 raised.  

Finalists:

  • Graceville State School Green Team
  • Mount Alvernia College

WasteSMART Kindy Award

WINNER: Geebung Community Kindy

As part of an ongoing collaboration with EcoBiz, this centre has implemented water saving techniques such as half flush cisterns and rainwater tanks. They reuse water from play, recycle materials, compost as well as have a worm farm. Their parent committee have been making connections with their community as well as using social media and highlighting their sustainability practices to encourage new enrolments.

Finalists:

  • Prior Street Child Care and Development
  • 3-5 Space, Goodstart Early Learning

People’s Choice WasteSMART Award

The public was invited to vote for the one winner in this category. This category comprises of finalists shortlisted by the judges across all categories.

WINNER: Manny Findlay

Manny has become a local legend in his local community by actively cleaning his local parks and advocating to keep his suburb clean through recycling and litter prevention. He does community announcements with his local Councillor, offers a wheelie bin cleaning service, and has been featured on Channel 7 News.

Lady holding crutches

Queensland Children’s Hospital

WasteSMART Councillors' Choice Award

The Queensland Children's Hospital (QCH) are national leaders in resource recovery and developing community partnerships to reduce the impact of health on the planet. QCH actively diverts over 500 000kg of waste into 37 recycling streams which generates or saves Qld Health over $1.8 million dollars annually. Its organic waste strategy captures 85% of all food waste on site, diverting 21,953 kg of food waste to composting and 561kg of food to Oz Harvest.

QCH partners with Ecomarines, Substation 33, Rotary RARE, Save our Supplies, Reverse Garbage, Oz Harvest, National Battery Stewardship Council, Containers for Change, Brisbane Metal recyclers and local vets and animal charities to utilise the waste generated by a hospital to support local charities, communities groups and international aid.

Hannah standing in her composting area

Hannah Churton aka The Worm Monger

WasteSMART Local Legend Award

You may have seen Hannah Churton and her community verge vegetable garden on the newest season of ABC's War on Waste!

The Bardon resident started the garden as well as a compost hub to help her neighbourhood redirect their organic waste and in the last financial year, she diverted over 6 tonnes of organic waste from landfill.

Hannah also utilises her social channel @the_worm_monger to educate people on composting and verge gardens, reaching more than 20k followers.

Sue with a bin

Sue Moller

WasteSMART Local Legend Award

Sue Moller is incredibly passionate about suburban composting, backyard food growing, recycling and anything that reduces waste and landfill.

Since completing the ‘Master Composter’ course in 2021, the retired nurse has been helping neighbours, local schools and various community composting hubs in the Gap to reduce their waste.

Through setting up a composting system at The Gap State Primary School, collecting food waste from a local childcare centre, collecting 'Score Cards' from the local Golf Club to use in composting and providing a 'drop-off' point for Sharewaste members to dispose of their food scraps, Sue helps to divert 440kg of waste per month from landfill.

In her spare time, she also runs composting workshops at the Yoorala St Community Gardens.

People eating catering

OzHarvest Catering Services

WasteSMART Community Award

OzHarvest has launched a new zero-waste catering service which goes beyond providing food at corporate events.

The service educates and empowers corporates to make a positive impact on the environment.

In the last financial year this not-for-profit's new initiative delivered 23,474 meals, diverted 11 tonnes of food from landfill, saved 1,678,391 litres of water and prevented 22,300 kgs of greenhouse emissions from entering the atmosphere.

A shipping container with a rainbow over it

Brisbane Tool Library

WasteSMART Community Award

Brisbane Tool Library is a community-driven circular economy social enterprise that works towards waste reduction by encouraging people to borrow tools, camping gear and other equipment.

The inventory of the Brisbane Tool Library made of rescued items from landfill and donations has grown from a dozen items in 2017 to a range of 2000+ items in 2023.

The library now serves members from 63 different suburbs and with over 10,000 loans, BTL has saved the Brisbane community more than one million dollars!

Story Bridge above Howard Smith Wharves

Howard Smith Wharves

WasteSMART Business Award

With restaurants, cafes, bars, and a brewery that supply food and beverage across the Howard Smith Wharves (HSW) precinct, their core sustainability focus has been around ensuring that waste generated across the many outlets is separated, segregated and recycled.

They have created a dedicated sustainability team who work with all venues at the wharves to achieve their recycling targets.

In the last financial year HSW has diverted 96% of its waste (over 4,523 tonnes) from landfill. This is the equivalent of 23 adult blue whales.

A warehouse full of clothes

RAIS Industries

WasteSMART Business Award

Razia Ansari started RAIS (Recycle Apparel Innovation Sustainability) Industries more than a decade ago, collecting unwanted garments from households and garage sales and since then has grown the organisation to partner with major charity organisations across QLD and NSW.

In the last 10 years RAIS has diverted approximately half a million tonnes of textiles from landfill by finding ways to reuse it and help people in the community that need secondhand clothing.

RAIS is now one of the biggest resellers of used clothes in Queensland and collects more than 50 tonnes of textiles per month.

Kids composting

St Laurence’s College

WasteSMART Schools Award

In 2015 a Geography teacher had a big idea - to create an urban farm in the grounds of St Laurence's College, less than 2kms from the Brisbane CBD. Since then, the school has transformed a barren, long rectangular space wedged between a multilevel carpark and a giant concrete retaining wall into a viable green space that supports food production in the city and a platform for educating about sustainability.

With the help of a small group of likeminded colleagues and students and no start-up funding, this plot of approximately 400sqm now grows edible plants, native plants and raises animals (chickens, ornamental fish, native red-claw crayfish, native jade perch, native silver perch, native bees, composting worms). Its bottom line is that all farm assets and activities must produce food or contribute to a food producing system (permaculture, raised beds, pots, wicking beds, hydroponics, aquaponics, vertical gardens, worm farm, egg production, beehives, organics composting, reusing and repurposing materials).

In the last financial year, the school diverted 100kg of shredded paper into their worm farms, 300kg of fruit and vegetable scraps from the canteen to the worm farm and chicken coop and produced 500kg compost and 100 litres of liquid fertilizer aka ‘worm tea’.

Kids composting

Payne Road State School

WasteSMART Schools Award

Payne Road State School runs the Environmental Leader's Workshop which hosts more than 11 cluster schools to come and learn about sustainability and the environment. The school also runs a stall at their local member of Parliament (Jonty Bush's) Eco Forum where the children educate the local community about all of the ways they are contributing to a cleaner environment.

The school has an established Junior and Senior Environment Club that meets every week. This enables the children to ensure the grounds are looked after and taken care of, from overseeing the native bees and Indigenous plants, to maintaining the vegetable gardens and compost bins.

Students also manage the classrooms electricity usage and have a designated spot-on assembly to award the most energy efficient classroom.

They are also part of the Tangalooma Ecomarines program and this year they have encouraged students to have a "wrapper free Wednesday", to help minimise the amount of single use plastics at the school.

Clothes rack

Milestones Early Learning Centre Everton Park

WasteSMART Early Learning Award

Milestones Everton Park has implemented a clothes swap which is available daily for parents to swap children’s clothes. This has helped to foster an understanding of the importance of sustainable practices, while assisting families facing the rising cost of living. Through the clothes swap the centre has also donated items to the Northwest Community Projects that help provide clothing and essentials to the needy.

Their sustainability practices don’t end there though, they also have a worm farm and composter to reduce food waste as well as an edible garden. They also recycle containers with Containers for Change.

A group of ladies

Save Our Supplies

WasteSMART All-Star Award

Save Our Supplies (SOS) is a not-for-profit charity which has developed an innovative and cost-effective way to divert our hospital’s unusable, clean medical waste from landfill while at the same time, providing crucial medical care across the globe.

As a theatre nurse here in Brisbane, Claire Lane was appalled by the waste in her hospital. Spurred into action, she founded SOS in the granny flat she was living in to address the issue.

By simply introducing brightly coloured SOS bin in theatres, this not-for-profit organisation has been able to save clean, unused medical supplies that would have gone to landfill. The bins are then collected by Claire and her volunteers weekly and sorted at the warehouse before being donated to developing nations..

SOS currently partners with 15 Brisbane hospitals and will expand into most hospitals in Southeast Queensland now they’ve received the Queensland Health waste removal tender.

Over the last financial year thanks to their team of three employees and 15-20 volunteers who spent a total of 50 hours each week collecting and sorting supplies, around 20 tonnes of supplies were prevented from going to landfill and approximately $1.5 million dollars' worth of supplies were donated to developing nations.

Claire Lane of Save our Supplies won the Outstanding WasteSMART Award in 2021, making her organisation an All-Star finalist for 2023.