Mick Brady, Sustainability Officer – Waste, putting a waste education sticker on a bin

Muswellbrook residents may have noticed some colourful characters appearing on their wheelie bins.

They are the “Waste Wranglers” introduced as part of Muswellbrook Shire Council’s waste education program.

Max the Minimiser, Reece the Recycler and Gene the Gardener are delivering important messages a reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

All recyclable material collected from households in Muswellbrook is taken to the Material Recovery Facility at Gateshead. Here, the recyclables are sorted and separated and then sold to a variety of markets.

The State Government imposes a waste levy on Council, so any material put into landfill attracts a cost and avoiding landfill is a high priority.

There are also many other benefits of recycling. Putting recyclable material into landfill also means using more raw materials which wastes a lot of natural resources such as energy and water.

“The Council puts a lot of effort into recycling because it makes economic and environmental sense. We want to give honest feedback to the community that recycling is important and help them make the right choices” Mick Brady, council’s sustainability officer for waste, said.

Council will continue to use the Waste Wranglers as part of their ongoing War on Waste education program.

The Waste Wranglers characters, Max, Reece and Gene

Keep a look out for the Waste Wranglers! They are here to help you get your rubbish SORTED.

These characters will be appearing, as stickers, on random wheelie bins throughout Muswellbrook in coming weeks and have an important story to tell.

The characters will be launched during Keep Australia Beautiful week (21-27 August) and have been created to help educate the community about what rubbish goes into what bin.

“Max the Minimiser” “Reece the Recycler” and “Gene the Gardener” will be used to deliver important messages about reducing the waste that goes to landfill.

Mick Brady, Council’s Sustainability Officer – Waste said

“We hope the Waste Wranglers will be a popular way of getting the message across about sorting waste and the benefits to the community of not sending waste to landfill. To kick off our War on Waste campaign we will be putting Max, Reece or Gene on bins along with a message about what goes in the different bins”.

Council will use the Waste Wranglers as part of their ongoing War on Waste program.

The Waste Wrangler characters

Ask us about the free tailored activities the SUSTAINABLE SCHOOLS SUPPORT PROGRAM offers to your school. The program can include presentations, workshops, demonstrations, audits, special events, tours and more!

Local solar contractors, electrical contractors and plumbing contractors with Council’s Sustainability Team at the Muswellbrook Indoor Sports Centre

Muswellbrook Shire Council’s 40% renewable energy target is another step closer with the implementation of a carbon neutral pilot project at the Muswellbrook Indoor Sports Centre.

After assessing the centre as suitable for a “Carbon Neutral” pilot project, Council’s Sustainability Unit began looking at ways to reduce the energy consumption. As a result the Centre has had a major technology upgrade.

This upgrade included the installation of new LED lighting to replace high energy use fixtures in the centre resulting in cutting electricity usage in half.

Council is also installing a 10 KW solar and battery storage system at the centre to generate and store its own energy, to potentially take the facility completely off the grid and not be reliant on external power.

Mark Scandrett (Councils Sustainability Coordinator said

“As the centre is used mostly at night, three Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries are being installed to store solar power generated during the day so that the centre can run during the night without drawing any power from the grid.”

Council will run a twelve month trial of the system to be sure that the solar and battery system provide enough power before disconnecting the facility from electricity grid which save Council hundreds of dollars each year in network charges.

As extra environmental benefits and to make the building completely Carbon Neutral, underground rain water storage tanks have been installed to supply water to the bathrooms and landscaping undertaken using low water use plants.

The Sustainability Unit hopes to roll out further carbon neutral projects on other Council owned properties in the near future.

Volunteers pulling out weeds along Muscle Creek

After a period of dormancy Muscle Creek Landcare group is again up and running, fighting against weed infestation and helping native ecosystems in the heart of Muswellbrook.

Muscle Creek Landcare was first formed in the mid 90’s by long-time member Stephen Thatcher, who has confirmed he will be on hand to work with the group. The Landcare group have, historically, secured funding and worked on a wide range of projects, including weed removal, native plantings and bank stabilisation works.

Council’s Sustainability Officer for Landcare Nicholas Alexander said: “It’s great to get this group active again. They did so much for the creek, and continued involvement by the community will ensure it has a healthy future”.

Denman local Rebecca Sowter is the new group supervisor and has high hopes for a restored Landcare group. “I am really excited to be part of the group and show the community what Landcare has to offer”.

The Muswellbrook Shire Council has been instrumental in the revitalisation of the group and has supplied equipment for their activities.

Muscle Creek Landcare meet at Fitzgerald Park at 10:00am on the first Saturday of every month.

For more information or to be involved in future Landcare projects contact Nicholas Alexander, Councils Sustainability Officer for Conservation and Landcare on 6549 3708.

A conservation volunteer helping to plant along Muscle Creek

Monday 5 June is World Environment Day aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of the environment to society and the economy. Muswellbrook Shire Council is taking the opportunity to urge the local community to be aware of the actions they can take that will not only help their local environment but will also help their hip pocket. The council is also working on reducing the environmental impact of council’s operations.

Some of council’s initiatives include increasing the amount of solar power council uses, implementing water efficiency programs, completing large scale revegetation of Muscle Creek and launching a renewed war on waste program.

Muswellbrook Shire Council Sustainability Coordinator Mark Scandrett said “We are hoping the community will support our programs as they will help reduce costs in the long term and make this a better place to live”.

If you are interested in any of these programs please contact Muswellbrook Shire Council on 6549 3700 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Muswellbrook Shire Council's new Waste Sustainability Officer Mick Brady

On 16 May ABC TV will air a three part series on the enormous and increasing problem of waste in Australia. At the same time Muswellbrook Shire Council Sustainability Unit will launch its own War on Waste with a renewed focus on tackling a range of waste issues.

A new Sustainability Officer has been employed at Council to focus on a range of waste reduction projects. Muswellbrook Shire Council Sustainability Officer – Waste, Mick Brady said:

“Waste is an increasing problem in Australia. By reducing our waste we can save a lot of money. The average Australian household throws out over $3000 per year of food products. On average up to 40% of a household bin is food.”

Council’s War on Waste program will investigate all aspects of the waste stream from all sections of the community. This involved looking at where our waste comes from and what can be done to reduce it.

Council is interested in undertake a range of local projects as part of the war on waste, such as; Introducing public area recycling in town, implementing and supporting community gardens, conducting a waste education program for schools and undertaking a food waste reduction program”.

If you are interested in any of these programs please contact Muswellbrook Shire Council’s Sustainability Officer for Waste, Mick Brady team on 02 6549 3794.

Singleton Council and Muswellbrook Shire Council have received joint funding of $84,000 from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to undertake a 2017 wood smoke reduction campaign commencing this month.  

The announcement comes after the councils conducted a successful joint program last year.

The funding will enable both councils to provide further education to the community about the health impacts of wood smoke and correct operation of wood heaters, and to encourage the replacement of older wood heaters not compliant with today’s standards.

The EPA recognises that wood smoke is a major contributor to poor air quality in the region during the winter months.

Muswellbrook Shire Council Sustainability Coordinator Mark Scandrett said:

“The EPA recognises that wood smoke is a major contributor to poor air quality in the region during the winter months.

“Fine particulates in wood smoke are a concern because they pass through the throat and nose and into the lungs where they can cause respiratory and circulatory problems, especially for the young and elderly, or people with existing medical conditions such as asthma.”

To improve air quality in the upcoming winter months, Singleton and Muswellbrook councils have rebate programs in place for both flue cleaning and wood heater replacement.

Singleton Council Director Planning & Infrastructure Mark Ihlein said:

“Now is the time to take action to reduce the amount of smoke generated by your wood heater.

“For a limited time, Singleton and Muswellbrook councils are offering a $50 rebate when you get your flue cleaned professionally, as a clean flue allows your wood heater to burn more efficiently, producing more heat with less smoke.

“Both councils are also offering a $1500 rebate to replace your wood heater with a less smoky form of heating, such as air conditioning.”

Are you curious about the flying foxes you may be seeing in Muswellbrook Shire? Download this brochure to gain a better understanding of the flying-fox.

Are you interested in caring for the land?
Protecting native habitats?
Learning about native plants and animals?
Keeping your local area beautiful?

  • Recycling Makes Sense
    5 Sep 17

    Muswellbrook residents may have noticed some colourful characters appearing on their wheelie bins.

    They are the “Waste Wranglers” introduced as part of Muswellbrook Shire Council’s waste education program.

    Max the Minimiser, Reece the Recycler and Gene the Gardener are delivering important messages a reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

    All recyclable material collected from hous...

  • ATTN Teachers: Are you looking for an engaging sustainability learning program for your students?
    17 Jul 17

    Ask us about the free tailored activities the SUSTAINABLE SCHOOLS SUPPORT PROGRAM offers to your school. The program can include presentations, workshops, demonstrations, audits, special events, tours and more!

  • The Return of Muscle Creek Landcare
    4 Jul 17

    After a period of dormancy Muscle Creek Landcare group is again up and running, fighting against weed infestation and helping native ecosystems in the heart of Muswellbrook.

    Muscle Creek Landcare was first formed in the mid 90’s by long-time member Stephen Thatcher, who has confirmed he will be on hand to work with the group. The Landcare group have, historically, secured funding and worked on a ...

  • Muswellbrook Shire Council Celebrates World Environment Day
    2 Jun 17

    Monday 5 June is World Environment Day aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of the environment to society and the economy. Muswellbrook Shire Council is taking the opportunity to urge the local community to be aware of the actions they can take that will not only help their local environment but will also help their hip pocket. The council is also working on reducing the environmental i...

  • War on Waste set to launch in Muswellbrook
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    On 16 May ABC TV will air a three part series on the enormous and increasing problem of waste in Australia. At the same time Muswellbrook Shire Council Sustainability Unit will launch its own War on Waste with a renewed focus on tackling a range of waste issues.

    A new Sustainability Officer has been employed at Council to focus on a range of waste reduction projects. Muswellbrook Shire Council Su...

  • Claim a $1500 rebate to replace your wood heater
    5 Apr 17

    Singleton Council and Muswellbrook Shire Council have received joint funding of $84,000 from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to undertake a 2017 wood smoke reduction campaign commencing this month.  

    The announcement comes after the councils conducted a successful joint program last year.

    The funding will enable both councils to provide further education to the community about the...

  • Landcare volunteers wanted!
    20 Jul 16

    Are you interested in caring for the land?
    Protecting native habitats?
    Learning about native plants and animals?
    Keeping your local area beautiful?

  • Flying Foxes: A guide for Upper Hunter residents
    18 Oct 16

    Are you curious about the flying foxes you may be seeing in Muswellbrook Shire? Download this brochure to gain a better understanding of the flying-fox.

  • More News ->
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