Environmental Education

Regional Environmental Education Program

Media Campaigns

Waste Education

Education programs are invariably integrated within the range of HCCREMS projects delivered annually. This page provides an overview of the key initiatives and resources produced in recent years.

The regional waste education program has been highly successful to date in supporting the roll out of the Hunter Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery strategy (see Waste Program Page for details).. Key actions in the Waste Education Strategy have included:

  • The development and implementation of the Small Acts Big Change flagship campaign and website
  • Delivery of a regional television campaign to make people aware of how easy it is to be wasteful at Christmas – and encourage them not to be! See the TV ads below
  • Development and delivery of television campaigns around recycling (see ads below)
  • Implementation of the Garage Sale Trail” across the region – creating a weekend of bargain shopping and diverting a significant amount of materials from landfill to reuse.
  • Creation and delivery of community courses teaching home composting and organics management (including keeping chooks!)

In 2016 the Waste Education Campaign will focus on messages around Illegal Dumping and Littering and continuing to capitalise on the successes of the television campaigns rolled out in 2015.

Waste Less  at Christmas

Hard and Soft Plastics, What can be Recycled?

Plastic Bags Do Not Belong in Recycling Bins

Love Food

Hate Waste

Low Waste Cooking

In the food & hospitality industries it is estimated around 74% of food purchased by businesses is thrown out before it is sold or served due to:

  • overproduction
  • spoilage, contamination and exceeding expiry dates
  • products not meeting the demands of the food retailing and wholesaling sectors e.g. size and aesthetic specifications
  • food preparation techniques

Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) is a program that aims to help businesses avoid food waste, save money and reduce environmental impact.

In 2015 Hunter Councils partnered with Hunter TAFE to develop a course module for all apprentice chefs in the region. The course aims to inspire apprentices to adopt practical strategies within a commercial kitchen to avoid and minimise food wastage.

The course aims to inspire apprentices to adopt practical strategies within a commercial kitchen to avoid and minimise food wastage.

The project attracted award winning chef Troy Rhoades-Brown and leading restaurateur Neil Slater who feature in videos to demonstrate practical strategies to avoid food waste along, and recently won the Waste Education category on the LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards.

This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.


Links to the video case studies developed as part of this award winning program (and the waste avoidance fact sheets) are provided below:


Waste management in Business

Avoid Food Waste and Save Your Business Money

Sustainability in Business

Rainwater Tank Maintenance

Rainwater Tank Maintenance

Research conducted by Councils found that a majority of new home owners had installed rainwater tanks as part of their BASIX requirements, but did not understand how to maintain the tanks and ensure they are working efficiently. In response, HCCREMS with the assistance of Lake Macquarie City Council, has created a number of video resources to assist home owners to correctly maintain their rainwater tanks.

The video resources cover the issues of maintaining:

  • Roof and Gutters
  • First flush devices
  • Inlet devices and the rainwater tank
  • Water pumps and outlet devices.

Remember – Rainwater tanks are LOW maintenance not NO maintenance

A few minutes spent every few months to clean screens and first flush devices, will keep your tank functioning properly, and provide a secondary water source for your gardens etc. The suggested maintenance schedule is:

Rainwater Tank Maintenance Needs (Guide Only)
How Often
Check & clean first flush device and any filters/ leaf-eaters.
1-3 months
Check and clean inlet and outlet screens. Make sure screens are tight fitting with no tears – replace or repair if necessary.
1-3 months
Check roof and gutters and remove accumulated debris, including leaf and other plant material (more often if trees overhang, or gutter guards not installed).
Prune overhanging tree branches and foliage.
3-6 months
Check and clean pump filters and strainers.
3-6 months
Check tank for physical defects, evidence of animal/insect access and algae growth – contact plumber or tank supplier as required.
3-6 months
Desludge tank if necessary by engaging the services of a professional tank cleaner.
2-3 years
Household Energy Efficiency Kit

Household Energy Efficiency Kit

HCCREMS delivered a number of community awareness and engagement projects focusing on energy efficiency. The Home Energy Reduction program was delivered over 4 years and comprised:

  • Home Energy Reduction Kits: these comprised a carry bag, household appliance energy meter, instruction booklet, and comprehensive Home Energy Reduction Guide. The kits can be borrowed through the region’s 62 council libraries throughout the region by households wanting to assess and reduce their energy use.
  • Free Community Workshops were delivered through the “It’s Better in Your Hip Pocket” campaign. These events provided residents with demonstrations, access to energy reduction specialists, as well as ‘take home’ information to assist with making energy smart purchases and implementing energy savings strategies in the home.

The Updated “It’s Better in Your Hip Pocket” Household Guide provides information on why electricity costs so much, how to assess the energy efficiency of your house and provides simple tips and practices that can be used to reduce energy use and save you money.

The “It’s Better in Your Hip Pocket” Household Guide is available from our Resource Library.

Rural Residential Living Guide

Rural Residential Living Guide

The Rural Residential Living Guide has been developed especially for people living on rural residential properties. It aims to bring together, in one central location, a range of useful information and resources to assist you to enjoy the rural lifestyle you have chosen and to achieve the personal goals you have set for your property. These could include raising livestock, keeping horses, growing your own food or recreating your own personal patch of the Australian bush. In particular, the Guide aims to assist you in ensuring that these activities complement the natural environment and community in which you live.

Moving to a rural residential property, requires a whole new set of skills and knowledge than those needed for living in town.

Living on a rural residential property is becoming an increasingly popular lifestyle choice. Being able to enjoy peace and quiet, open space and the natural environment, whilst still being close to large perfect replica watches towns and cities are key factors driving this trend.

Moving to a rural residential property, requires a whole new set of skills and knowledge than those needed for living in town. It often requires some understanding of how to manage weed, land, water, animal, fire and biodiversity considerations. However finding information and assistance in this regard can often be a time consuming and complex task.

This Guide brings together for you a range of existing information and resources to assist in implementing common activities undertaken on rural residential blocks. It will assist you to understand and address the many land management issues and challenges that you may face. The resources included in the Guide have been developed by a range of government agencies, local councils, community organisations and others, however have not previously been brought together in one readily accessible location.

Please feel free to explore the Rural Residential Living Guide.

Environmental Education Web Links

Environmental Education Web Links

The following external websites have been identified by HCCREMS team members during the delivery and development of past projects.

If you know of any great online resources we should include here, please email enviroadmin@hunterjo.com.au