First salvo fired in the Fleet ‘War on Waste’

Published on LEUT Steve Cropper (author), LSIS Ronnie Baltoft (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East, NSW

Topic(s): Fleet Base East

Royal Australian Navy sailor Leading Seaman Marine Technician Jerry Rupnik, left, and Veolia Regional Contracts Manager NSW - Defence Mr Brad Bowman stand with the new Veolia commingled bins delivered to Port Services at Fleet Base East in Sydney, NSW. (photo: LSIS Ronnie Baltoft)
Royal Australian Navy sailor Leading Seaman Marine Technician Jerry Rupnik, left, and Veolia Regional Contracts Manager NSW - Defence Mr Brad Bowman stand with the new Veolia commingled bins delivered to Port Services at Fleet Base East in Sydney, NSW.

A Fleet-wide campaign to significantly cut waste has taken an important step forward with the delivery of ‘commingled’ bins to complement the existing paper/cardboard recycling options at Fleet Base East.

Commingled recycling is one of the most versatile waste management services currently available in Australia. Many different items can be accepted in the commingled bins.

Most food and beverage containers such as plastic bottles, glass jars, aluminium and steel cans are all accepted.

In response to frustration among some personnel about a lack of wharf-side waste sorting options, Defence waste management partner Veolia has delivered the commingled bins to better sort waste and reduce volumes being sent to landfill.

“With 97% of Fleet waste currently being directed to landfill, the increased recycling options should significantly reduce the volume being dumped,” War on Waste Project Lead, Captain Stephen O’Keefe, said.

“We’re really very disciplined and effective when it comes to controlling what we put into the sea, but we still need to improve on what we put into landfill,” he said.

Captain O’Keefe said it was very important that every individual think about where their garbage will end up and use recycling bins correctly.

Fleet has set itself the ambitious target of 25% reduction in waste being sent to landfill by the end of June 2020, and the new bins are the first salvo in the campaign to reduce the generation of waste wherever the Fleet operates.

Captain O’Keefe said the Fleet War on Waste also aimed to challenge existing waste practices, encourage disciplined waste sorting ‘at source’ and seek innovative solutions to waste disposal.

“At the end of the day, we want to save our people from too much hand-sorting of waste at sea and to continue to improve the Fleet’s waste management standards,” Captain O’Keefe said.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: https://images.navy.gov.au/S20192117

L-R: Veolia Regional Contracts Manager NSW - Defence Mr Brad Bowman; Royal Australian Navy sailor Leading Seaman Marine Technician Jerry Rupnik; and Project Lead War on Waste Captain Steve O'Keefe, RAN, in front of the newly delivered Veolia commingled bins at Fleet Base East in Sydney, NSW.

L-R: Veolia Regional Contracts Manager NSW - Defence Mr Brad Bowman; Royal Australian Navy sailor Leading Seaman Marine Technician Jerry Rupnik; and Project Lead War on Waste Captain Steve O'Keefe, RAN, in front of the newly delivered Veolia commingled bins at Fleet Base East in Sydney, NSW.