The University of Newcastle, Australia

Pilot program aims for zero waste in the Hunter

Monday, 30 November 2015

A cross-functional team of local professionals has developed an impressive pilot program to establish the Hunter region as leaders in waste management.

Led by the University of Newcastle's Dr Andrea Coda, the self-labelled "Team Green" developed their recycling pilot program as part of the HunterNet Future Leaders Program.

The program uses a collaborative approach to tackle waste in the Hunter. With support from local industry, new technology and ongoing research fuelled by PhD scholarships, the program would establish a household recycling reward system for local Hunter families.

"The program draws on the region's strengths to position the Hunter region as a pioneer, leading Australia towards zero waste," says Dr Andrea Coda, who is a lecturer in podiatry in the School of Health Sciences.

"Initially, we would look at implementing the program within 10,000 Cessnock homes, before expanding the program further."

The group's pilot program received overwhelmingly positive feedback from HunterNet's panel local leaders. The team now hopes to get their program off the ground with support from investors.

Each HunterNet Future Leaders Program team was provided with $500 foundation funding for the development of their pilot program. The Team Green decided to donate their foundation funding – along with $300 from a generous local donor – to the John Hunter Children's Hospital (pictured right). The donation totalling $800 has been used to purchase Christmas toys for sick children, with all toys made out of 100% recyclable material.

"It's our hope that the toys will bring hope and smiles to less fortunate kids in Newcastle over the Christmas festivities," says Dr Andrea Coda.

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