Local Waste Champions

Normanhurst Neighbourhood Garden

group in front of shrubs

Congratulations to the volunteers from the Normanhurst Neighbourhood Garden, who have just celebrated their 9th birthday!

The Garden, located at Normanhurst Uniting Church, hosts working bees every Saturday morning, growing and maintaining a wide array of fresh produce. Plants range from staples like pumpkin and herbs, to native blueberry, cumquat and chocolate pudding fruit.

Volunteers have sourced repurposed water tanks and compost bins, and use recycled coffee grounds from another Local Waste Champion, Witham’s Coffee.

The garden is open and free to anyone who would like to join in on a working bee and morning tea on Saturday mornings from 8:30am, so try it out if you’re keen to get your hands dirty and enjoy the freshest local produce!

Congratulations to the amazing garden volunteers and organiser Margaret, for creating an inclusive, sustainable space in our local community.

Witham's Coffee

coffee cup in hand

Witham’s Coffee not only help the Hornsby community stay caffeinated, they also ensure that the byproducts of their roastery and café are recycled. This includes donating used coffee grounds to the Edgeworth David Community Garden, offering coffee stacks to customers, and recycling coffee chaff with Herfo’s Woodshed where it’s used to create coffee compost.

They also separate items including soft plastics, cardboard and beverage containers for recycling.

Great job to Lance, Kim and the whole team at Witham’s Coffee!

Edgeworth David Community Garden

Community Garden Group

Since opening in 2016, the Edgeworth David Community Garden has been a place for residents to come together and connect over a love of gardening and plants.

The garden boasts a wide range of produce, rainwater harvest tanks, compost heaps and worm farms, a native stingless bee hive and even a 100 per cent recycled shed! Volunteers come together on Wednesdays and Saturdays to tend to the plants, share produce and morning tea, and compost food waste from community members and organisation, including local charity Fusion Sydney North.

All residents are welcome to visit the garden or volunteer at a working bee at the corner of Sherbrook and Northcote Road, Hornsby. Congratulations to all the volunteers and coordinator Bronwyn for maintaining a wonderfully wild local space.

Fusion Sydney North

Four ladies standing over groceries

Located in Hornsby, Fusion is a powerhouse local charity that work to support those in the community doing it tough with food assistance. Local supermarkets drop off extra food that would have otherwise been thrown out, and the team packs these into hampers for families to collect each week.

Not only do they distribute food that would otherwise be sent to landfill, Fusion have started composting any waste they create from old or spoiled produce with the Edgeworth David Community Garden! Volunteers collect bins full of food waste every Tuesday and Thursday, and take them back to the community garden to be composted, giving the waste a new life as nutritious soil for the plants.

Thank you to the Fusion team and manager Myf for supporting both people and the planet right here in Hornsby!

St Patrick’s Primary School Asquith

easter egg wrappers

Over the Easter school holidays, St Patrick’s Primary School students were set a challenge by teacher Loretta to collect their Easter egg wrappers for recycling. The students rose to the challenge, coming back to Term 2 with a whopping 1.5kgs of foil to recycle.

The activity was set as aluminium foil can only be recycled if scrunched into a ball the size of a golf ball or larger. Small pieces of foil often get lost in the gaps of recycling machinery and are not recycled.

Creative recycling initiatives like this make recycling fun and help keep useful items out of landfill. Keep up the great work Loretta and the St Patrick's community!

Phillip Combe

Man standing at bush trail with green fence

Phillip has been organising Clean Up Australia Day in Hornsby Shire for six years. Each year, he and his team of volunteers collect rubbish along the banks of Pyes Creek and Keighran Place in Cherrybrook.

And after all their hard work, Phillip puts on a sausage sizzle for the volunteers. Thank you Phillip!

North West Sydney Tennis

male and female in front of tennis courts with recycling box for tennis balls

North West Sydney Tennis, located in Pennant Hills, was named the No.1 tennis ball recycler in NSW and No.5 in Australia for 2022! Congratulations to Sandi Edwards (Manager) and Henry Chim (Pro Shop team) for their effort to reduce waste going to landfill!

Initiated by Henry Chim from their Pro Shop team, they collect unwanted tennis balls and racquets, which are sent to ‘Game on Recycling’ for reuse and recycling. ‘Game on Recycling’ is a sports equipment recycling program, helping to reduce waste created by the sports industry.

Since March 2022, NWST have collected over 500kg of tennis balls, which are used in the manufacturing of floor coverings for use in sporting grounds. North West Sydney Tennis also make unwanted tennis balls available to dog training centres and local dog lovers.

To drop off unwanted tennis balls and racquets please visit NWST at 25 Britannia Street, Pennant Hills, Pennant Hills Park.

To find out more about tennis ball recycling go to Game On Recycling.

Hornsby Woodworking Men’s Shed

group standing in front of table in a shed. Items on the table include a minature house and a leaf blower

Our local Hornsby Woodworking Men’s Shed are passionate about reusing materials and reducing waste. With over 180 members, they regularly meet at their Thornleigh workshop, producing items made from recycled timber.

Throughout last year they created 400 handmade wooden Christmas toys, which were donated to local charities. They have also made native bee hives, possum boxes and street library boxes.

Nothing is wasted at the Men’s Shed workshop, including sawdust and wood shavings. The sawdust is collected and given to Sydney baseball teams for use on their pitches, and the wood shavings are given to local residents for chicken pens and horse stalls.

Congratulations to David Tarran, President, Hornsby Woodworking Men’s Shed and his team for their outstanding contribution to the local community and efforts to reduce waste. Well done!

Move It On

group on roadside holding banner with text 'move it on

In January 2019 four North Epping locals discovered they all felt the same way about waste and decided to do something about it. Fed up with the number of items going to landfill, they formed a Facebook group called Move It On.

Over the last two years, Kathy Bradford, Joanne Colquhoun, Narelle Maxwell and Anne Youll, have helped a mountain of unwanted household goods find a new home.

Move It On has 171 Facebook members and holds events to ‘move on’ items, as well as promote Council’s waste and recycling services. Their message to our community is ‘One person can make a difference, and be the change you want to see in the world’. We are so proud to have these waste champions in our Shire!

To find out more or get involved, visit the Move It On Facebook page.

McQuoin Park Retirement Village

Group standing in front of compost bins

McQuoin Park Retirement Village, run by Catholic Healthcare, have a thriving fruit and vegetable garden where they compost their food waste rather than sending it to landfill. The community garden club meets every week and leader Laurie McGowan is passionate about sharing his knowledge with the group. Laurie has worked with Council waste officers to create a sustainable garden with three compost bins which produce nutrient rich compost for their garden. Well done to Laurie McGowan and McQuoin Park Retirement Village.

Our local Hornsby Shire community is making positive changes increase recycling and reduce waste going to landfill. Above are some of our enthusiastic local waste champions!

Jay Powell

female in front of bins

Jay Powell was acknowledged as a ‘Local Waste Champion’ for her ongoing commitment to recycling, and for keeping her apartment complex free of overflowing bins and incorrect bulky waste presentations. Her dedication to educating her neighbours about waste and recycling is inspiring, and all done with a smile. Thank you Jay!

Agnes Yiu

female in front of colourful garden display

Community volunteer, Agnes Yiu, has lived in Hornsby for 24 years since arriving from Vancouver, Canada, and in that time has assisted many Chinese Australians by translating complex waste and recycling information into Cantonese and Mandarin. Recently Agnes presented our ‘Recycling Talk in Cantonese’ event on Zoom, in her fun and informative manner.

She is an enthusiastic recycling champion and we are grateful for her knowledge and assistance in educating our Community. Agnes believes that many challenges can be improved by creating new habits, such as bringing your own shopping bags to reduce single-use plastics.

Bec Healy - Boxhead Plastics

Female in front of plastic bits

Bec Healy is the founder of Boxhead Plastics, a charity created to close the loop on plastic waste from the local auto industry. Unwanted plastic car bumper bars are now used to produce recycled golf tees, made here in Hornsby!

Boxhead Plastics brings together car bumper bar collectors, plastic recyclers and processors, and local manufacturing to produce a recycled plastic feedstock ready for injection mould manufacturing. These Naiteev golf tees, are the only Australian made golf tees and the only golf tees made from Australian plastic waste.

boxes of golf tees

Based in Berowra, Boxhead Plastics has sold or sponsored more than 20,000 golf tees since it launched in March 2021.  For more information and to purchase Naiteev recycled plastic golf tees go to the Naiteev website.

Thornleigh West Public School

The future is in good hands with Thornleigh West Public School students. These local waste champions are so enthusiastic about waste and the environment that they have ‘green captains’ for each class and have formed an Environment Club to promote recycling. Their waste and recycling journey is well underway with a school audit already completed and more to follow.

Hornsby North Public School

At the Hornsby North Public School community fair they set up a temporary Return and Earn, with all the proceeds going back to the school, what a great idea!

They also encouraged people to bring along their own food containers and all food stalls were required to have sustainable packaging, such as using biodegradable materials and corn starch utensils. To minimise packaging waste, all their raffle prizes were packed in reusable items such as toy baskets or cane hampers. These initiatives greatly reduced the amount of waste generated at the event.

Pennant Hills Public School

At the Pennant Hills Public School fete they collected soft plastics for recycling from the stall holders and provided two waste streams – general and Return and Earn. Their ‘green team’ was on hand to monitor the separation of the waste streams. Well done ‘green team’!

Refillable water stations were provided by Sydney Water, saving 13kg of plastic going to landfill. On the day 602 litres of tap water was consumed, saving 1003 bottles from being purchased, saving the students and families approximately $2,179. Other positive environmental impacts from the water stations included 1505 litres of water saved in the production of plastic bottles and 704 kWh energy saved, which would be equal to running a light bulb for 7,043 hours.