Since its inception, Waste Aid has worked with numerous local communities to complete projects in NSW and South Australia.  A snapshot of these projects is set out below.


At a glance: The NSW Government engaged Waste Aid to develop the first ever State-wide Waste Strategy and Implementation Plan for Aboriginal communities.

This strategy resulted in a Needs Assessment for the NSW Government. In response, in 2016 the NSW EPA committed $5 million for waste solutions in Aboriginal communities under their Waste Less, Recycle More program.

This program was supported by NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.



At a glance: The Aboriginal communities of Alice Edwards Village (Bourke) and Clara Hart Village (Enngonia) are some of the most disadvantaged in NSW.

One of the problems these communities faced was a history of bulky waste building up without the necessary services to remove the waste.

The communities wanted to fix their waste problem but lacked resources and support. They felt overwhelmed by the huge task and didn’t know where to start.

Waste Aid formed a coalition to support the communities. Partners included the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Aboriginal Affairs NSW, NSW Health, Bourke Shire Council, Bourke Aboriginal Health Service, NSW Rural Fire Service, Nulla Nulla Land Council, Murra Warri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Maranguka/Bourke Aboriginal Community Working Party, and Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation (MPREC).

The communities then worked with Waste Aid and our partners to clean up old waste and implement long-term waste solutions for the future.

Project outcomes included:

  • Providing new rubbish bins to every household
  • Removing litter from the community
  • A reduction in the average rate of littered items by 50% in both communities
  • Cleaning up illegally dumped waste
  • Removing bulky waste and cars from community
    • More than 50m3 of bulky waste removed
    • More than 70 car bodies removed to new locations or recycled
  • Providing new litter bins for the local park
  • Co-designing new educational resources and messaging
  • Providing training in occupational work health and safety skills
  • Providing training in composting

A key success of this project included holding ‘Paint the Bin’ days where community children participated in painting new bins with designs. They used stencils prepared by a local Aboriginal artist, commissioned by Waste Aid.

As a result of this project, the community now have the skills they need to manage their own waste into the future.

EY (formerly Ernst and Young) conducted a social return on investment analysis of this project. They found that it had a significant positive effect on residents, with findings including the following.

  • Positively affecting the lives of community members: ‘The improvements shown at the final outcome level indicate that the pilot project’s activities have been successful in positively affecting the lives of the Adults in the communities’
  • Reducing injury risk for children: In Clara Hart Village, ‘[t]he pilot project had the most significant effect on Adults through improving their ability to protect children from waste related injury…’
  • Adult engagement: ‘The change experienced in the key indicators shows that there has been a significant increase in the level of engagement from the Adult stakeholders in both [Clara Hart Village and Alice Edward Village]’
  • Youth engagement: ‘… the project was able to garner new youth engagement with peers and community on waste issues in both [Communities]’

This Project was supported by the Australian Packaging Covenant and the NSW EPA


Waste Aid has secured additional funding from the Office of Local Government for a pilot project to remove asbestos from Aboriginal communities in three far western NSW council areas.

This project will focus on asbestos assessment, training, employment and removal techniques for these Aboriginal communities.

Waste Aid is working closely with Lendlease to deliver this project. Lendlease will be project managing this project on a pro bono basis.

This Project is supported by the Office of Local Government and Lendlease


Inspired by their big clean-up, Clara Hart Village wanted to take things further by setting up community gardens to grow fresh food. This is important because the soil in the region is in real need of improvement so that food crops can be grown. Importing fresh food is expensive and so fresh fruit and veggies are unavailable to most residents. The community recognise this as an important health issue.

Waste Aid supplied compost bins and worm farms to the community. These are now being used to produce nutrient-rich soil for the community gardens as well as to grow bush tucker. Waste Aid also supplied a kitchen compost bin to every household, plus kitchen cleaning kits to support food hygiene.

As well as producing top quality soil, the compost bins are significantly reducing the amount of food waste going to landfill.

Waste Aid has also worked with the community to co-design culturally appropriate education materials. These materials are now being used to deliver education programs for both adults and children. Education programs cover food waste reduction, composting and worm farming.


The remote APY Lands in South Australia are home to 3000 Anangu people. The APY Lands are 1600kms from Adelaide. This makes waste management a serious challenge. When we first surveyed the area, all rubbish was sent to overflowing landfills and burnt periodically. There were no recycling initiatives.

Cardboard made up a big proportion of the waste. Although there were no recycling initiatives, we noticed that the semi-trailers that regularly brought food and other supplies to the communities from Adelaide were completing their return journey empty.

We helped the community set up a program with the Mai Wiru Regional Stores Council and Toll Logistics for cardboard waste to be driven back to Adelaide for recycling in Toll Logistics trucks. Orora Recycling then purchased the cardboard, returning income to the communities through the community stores’ Mai Wiru Community Benefits program.

Cardboard waste reduced by 66% in the five stores that took part in the trial – that’s 42 tonnes out of landfill in the first year alone.  This represents a win for communities and a win for the environment.

This model can now be transferred to other remote regions.

This project was completed with funding from the Australian Packaging Covenant and Green Industries SA.


Partner: Ngemba Community Working Party

What happened?

  • New rubbish bins for all households
  • Cleaned up 500m3 of bulky waste
  • Moved 31 cars to the council landfill
  • Held a ‘Paint the Bin’ day and barbecue to celebrate
  • Installed public litter bins
  • Co-designed educational signs and materials
  • A Community Environmental Advisor was employed to assist Waste Aid in all activities and to educate and motivate the community, while learning how to deal with future problems

“One of our young leaders managed the clean-up for West Brewarrina, we selected him to work with Waste Aid because we want to develop our people. He learned a lot, he led the community through the clean-up and he is proud of his work, and we are proud of him. I want Norman to start to advocate for the people in West Brewarrina. We need to build the capacity of our young people and Waste Aid helped with that.”

Grace Gordon: Chair, Ngemba Community Working Party

This Project was supported by the Australian Packaging Covenant and co-funded by the NSW EPA


Partner: Wellington Local Aboriginal Land Council

Wellington LALC in the Central West of NSW were awarded $10,000 by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) under the Aboriginal Lands Clean Up Program (ALCUP). The CEO of Wellington LALC approached Waste Aid and sought assistance in identifying actions to commence clean up and to feed into a long term change program for the Wiradjuri people living at Nanima Village and the surrounding LALC-owned lands

Wellington LALC owns considerable land holdings along the Macquarie River at Wellington and these lands have a range of cultural, conservation and economic values. Wellington LALC also have interest in supporting the good management of both Aboriginal community lands, culturally significant sites and sites of regular access and use that are not owned by the LALC.

A community BBQ was held at the Nanima Hall to kick off the project and start discussion with community members about what they would like to get out of the project to enable a community project plan to be developed

The project plan included:

  • Clean up of Nanima Village removing cars and bulky waste
  • Bins and things – Working out what the community had and what it needed to improve waste management
  • Infrastructure supply – New rubbish bins for all households
  • Education program including a paint the bin day
  • Service agreement with the local Council

In helping the community to implement their plan, Waste Aid was able to arrange for new household bins – donated by our sponsor, SULO Australia – to be distributed to every house. A Paint the Bin day where community members painted a unique Aboriginal design on their household bin was also held.

“Wellington Local Aboriginal Land Council had been granted a very small amount of money to clean-up and put systems in place to prevent/limit future illegal dumping on our land, however lacked guidance on how to best get the job done. This is where Waste aid stepped in.  With experience with working with similar Aboriginal communities and knowing what has worked and what hasn’t in the past, we as a team were able to focus on priorities and spend our time and money on things that were proven to work. They assisted us in doing this which included community meetings, networking and engaging with other stakeholders including Sulo bins who kindly donated wheelie bins for the residents at Nanima and coordinating the removal of illegally dumped waste and cars. Waste aid staff were always available to assist in any way they could and have done so efficiently.”

Leanne Stanley CEO Wellington LALC


Partners: Weilmoringle – Wytalbar Community Working Party and Weilmoringle Local Aboriginal Land Council

In April 2016 the Weilmoringle – Wytalbar Community Working Party and the Weilmoringle LALC invited Waste Aid to undertake a clean up project with the community.

Like the other communities the first step was holding a community BBQ to discuss with the community what they wanted help with. This ensure that the clean up program could be tailored to their needs.

The project plan included:

  • Clean up removing cars and bulky waste
  • New rubbish bins for all households
  • Education program including a paint the bin day

New household bins were donated by our sponsor, SULO Australia, and distributed to every house after a successful Paint the Bin day.

An artists workshop was held with the community creating a mural about keeping the community clean:












This Project was supported by the Australian Packaging Covenant and co-funded by the NSW EPA


Partner: Goodooga Aboriginal Community Working Party

In April 2016, the Goodooga Community Working Party invited Waste Aid to undertake a project with the community. Like in the other communities, the first step was to hold a community BBQ to discuss with the community what they wanted help. This ensured that the clean up program could be tailored to their needs.

Similar to other nearby communities, over 2016 the Goodooga folk decided to:

  • Clean up old cars and bulky waste from the community
  • Provide new rubbish bins for all households, and paint them
  • Install compost bins for the school
  • Roll out a community education program
  • Employ and train a community member as their Community Environment Advisor.