Energy Breakthrough gets waste wise


The 2022 Energy Breakthrough event was the most sustainable in its 30-year history by diverting more than 3,500 kilograms of waste materials generated by the event away from landfill:

  • 1,528kg (23% of total waste) recovered to be recycled
  • 1,340kg (20% of total waste) recovered to be composted
  • 633kg of single-use packaging avoided through the introduction of a reusable crockery system
  • 82% decrease in amount of waste sent to landfill.
  • Event generated waste only 250grams of landfill per person, down from 1.6kg in 2019.

These results were made possible by a grant from Sustainability Victoria’s Circular Economy councils Fund.

The funding allowed us to work closely with social enterprise B-Alternative in the following areas:

  • Engaging patron education and encourage positive behavioural change before and during event
  • Streamed resource recovery – diversion of general landfill to other areas such as organics, recycling, cardboard, aluminum, scrap metal
  • Implementing a Reusable Crockery System
  • Utilising commercial grade dishwashers for event crockery & cutlery, and FDA approved systems
  • Consultation with vendors for waste education and plastic-free vendor packaging
  • Promotion of environmental initiatives for behaviour change – at the event and post event

Energy Breakthrough’s Management Group Committee Member and Central Goldfields Shire Councillor Liesbeth Long said the Energy Breakthrough Committee was thrilled the funding had made such an impact in such a short space of time.

“The results indicate we are leading by doing, with impactful results achieved at the 2022 Energy Breakthrough. Students, parents, volunteers and communities have been active participants in diverting waste from landfill and will apply these principles at home and at future events.

“It proves that effective resource recovery strategies and education can play a significant role in waste diversion and reduction.

“Thank you to the Victorian Government for the grant funding that made this possible, we look forward to working with B-Alternative again this year to continue to do better to reduce our environmental impact.”

Grant funding under the Circular Economy Councils Fund is part of the Victorian Government’s 10-year plan to transition to a circular economy.

B-Alternative will work with Energy Breakthrough again in 2023 – with a focus on no single-use plastics.

B-Alternative General Manager James McLennan said the landfill reduction results from the 2022 event were astounding. “To see an 82% reduction in landfill is a huge success. This shows just how possible it is to divert waste from landfill when resource recovery streams are utilised.”

This will include no single use plastic cutlery, water or soft drink bottles, single use coffee cups/lids or plastic bags being brought to site or sold by vendors.

To support this change, Energy Breakthrough will work with schools and local community groups in the lead up to the event on 22-26 November.

Background info – B-Alternative

B-Alternative helps organisations, schools and events eradicate waste by providing ethical resource recovery and waste management services and raising awareness through Earth-focused education and behaviour change.

B-Alternative has supported many large-scale events to go reusable including Meadow Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival, Lorne Falls Festival, Nightjar Market Torquay & Geelong, Inner Varnika Festival, and more recently Energy Breakthrough, New Years Eve on the Hill, Ocean Sounds, Our Survival Day, and more.

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