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How Cumberland City Council gave a second life to landfill waste

Turning a waste dilemma into a reusable solution

Cumberland City Council, is located in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia and has a culturally diverse population of 260, 000 people. As official Plastic Free July Council Members they have been promoting the switch to reusable shopping bags. Through creative thinking and productive partnerships within the community, Council came up with solution to divert some of their own waste from landfill by turning it into reusable bags.

Turning banners into bags

Council staff approached their Resource Recovery Team to ask if there was any way to dispose of old Council event banners responsibly. The solution, ‘Bags from Banners’, was a creative way to repurpose the banners, rather than disposing to landfill. Unable to find a business able to take on the project they turned to the local community for solutions.

The community get on board and share new skills

The Bags from Banners Project was able to go ahead with the help of the local ‘Women’s Creative Hub’. The Hub is a collaborative and supportive space where women seeking asylum, refugees and the wider community come together to connect socially, share and learn creative skills. This initiative brought together the community and council to avoid landfill waste, reduce single-use plastic bags and pass on skills.

Sharing the bags in the community and at Events

Bags from Banners was launched during National Recycling Week, distributing the bags at events and workshops, through the library and community centres. The Council’s Resource Recovery Team is planning on using these bags in council kitchens. ‘Bags from Banners’ is being promoted heavily across Council operations and through social media, meeting with an overwhelmingly positive response from the community.

Bags for Banners is a success because it provides a visible and practical solution to reducing waste and avoiding single-use plastic bags. When Council led by example, the community responded with enthusiasm. 

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