Melanie Bramble changing the way people consider the distribution of their recyclable waste products through her Terracycle Community Collection Hub in Clyde.
Ms Bramble has eight collection bins in the front yard of her Pasadena Boulevard property, collecting a variety of products that often are not processed correctly at waste management facilities.
Among the items she collects are old toothpaste and toothbrushes (both electric and manual), hair care product packaging, empty coffee-pod capsules, pet food packaging and old stationary.
Simply drop your items in the corresponding bin so that Ms Bramble can package them up and send them off to Terracycle to be distributed to the corresponding recycling facility.
“I’ve chosen which (products) I think go-together,” Ms Bramble said.
“Each of the programs need to be shipped separately, but I don’t have enough space to have bins for absolutely every single one of the programs so I just sort of group them together in what ones are similar or easy to separate into other products.
“I’ve always been keen on recycling and everything like that. My parents did home composting, so when I moved out I made sure I was able to do home composts.”
Ms Bramble’s advocacy has created three collections points in Eastern Melbourne – one at her parents’ house in Wantirna and one at her place of work in Aspendale Gardens.
She is also a volunteer for Lids4Kids, who repurpose bottle lids from liquid products like soft drinks, water and milk bottles.
Those lids, which are often left on bottles when disposed in kerbside waste, often go un-detected by the machinery at recycling plants due to their size.
It’s all been a part of the education process for her as the community takes more notice of how we can help the environment.
“Dental products and learning that the council don’t accept the majority of cleaning products in their recycling bin was a new one for me.
“I did (the council’s) online recycling seminar and learnt that the only products we’re supposed to recycle in their kerbside recycling bins is food and drink packaging, rather chemicals and stuff like that.
“I don’t think the majority of people know – I just assumed that if it’s got a recycling sign, that it can go in the recycling bin, but they may not get recycled at our local recycling place.”
Despite juggling the collection point with full-time work and her two children, she finds it rewarding to know that she’s making a positive contribution to the environment.
“I’ve got my workplace on-board as well so we have less rubbish at work. One of the girls (from work) has implemented some things at home as well, so their rubbish has gone from a normal bin size to a tiny one.
“I’ve had a few people even from Rosebud come up and say this is the closest lid or other collection point for them.”
“I feel good making a difference and getting the word out there.“
The collection point is located at 13 Pasadena Boulevard in Clyde.
To learn more about what products can and can’t be recycled at her collection point, head to Ms Bramble’s Facebook page at facebook.com/Clyde3978WantirnaSouth3152AspendaleGardens3195