Garden Comp sees Waste Facilities getting into spirit of Spring

With Spring in the air and the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers in full bloom, Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Waste Management Facilities have been celebrating the season with the annual garden competition.

TRC Water and Waste Chair Cr Rebecca Vonhoff and Portfolio Leader Cr Nancy Sommerfield judged the competition, and this week presented category winners.

Cr Nancy Sommerfield said Council’s Waste Management Facilities are really blooming this Spring.

“The beautiful gardens have set off our facilities, and it shows the pride that our staff have in their workplaces,” Cr Sommerfield said.

“The Clifton Waste Management Facility and Reviva Recycling Centre at Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility were joint winners of the overall competition.

“This year saw the highest and closest scores awarded since the competition started.

“It was difficult to split the winners, and in the end, we agreed to a tie.

“Clifton’s display was not a traditional garden; however, the innovation and creativity shone through with a real example of reuse and recycling.

“Reviva Recycling’s Lorax theme was also outstanding, creating a backyard for their central character.

“The gardens are both grown with sustainability in mind, with no need for watering at either site.

“I would recommend a visit just to see these outstanding displays as part of our Region’s celebration of the season.”

Cr Rebecca Vonhoff said the level of thought, creativity and effort put in by facilities’ staff is evident in the quality of their entries

“The annual competition is more than just the best garden, and each year staff compete for the best photograph, best video presentation and even the best office plant,” Cr Vonhoff said.

“There are good news stories at each facility with the community getting involved in some of the gardens.

“The not-for-profit organisation, Ability Enterprises, are involved in maintaining most of Council’s regional facilities.

“The group has been particularly active at the Yarraman Waste Management Facility where they have created a sustainable garden.

Ability Enterprises Chief Executive Officer, Ms Tracey Scanlan said Ability Enterprises had proudly held the contract to provide services with TRC Waste Management Facilities since 2012.

“Ability Enterprises provides services to each Waste Facility operated and owned across the Toowoomba Region from Yarraman to Millmerran, across to Clifton and everywhere in between,” Ms Scanlan said.

“As a Not for Profit Social Enterprise, this contract allows us to offer meaningful employment to our team who identify with Ability Enterprises Mission’ A social business proudly giving people a second chance through employment’.

“Our team look forward to the Waste Management Garden Competition every year.Team members are responsible for the design and creation, building and caring for their gardens.

“The competition nourishes their creativity and allows freedom of expression; it is great to see what they come up with every year.

“This year TRC Waste Services introduced a photography section which added yet another dimension to express their creativity.

“The garden at the Yarraman Waste Management Facility has an amazing forest garden which compliments the natural environment.

“Our staff that service the facility, add to the garden every year, allowing the maturity of the older plants complimented by new plantings.

“On the other hand, the staff at the Clifton Waste Management Facility are very passionate about recycling and upcycling.

“Their creation this year has taken the competition to a whole new level. I honestly don’t know how it will better this year’s efforts next year.

“Our team enjoy interacting with the ratepayers, some of whom offer plant cuttings from their gardens for inclusion.

“It is great to see the community come together; one might even say “from small things, big things grow”, which supports the growth in the standard of entries this year.”

Cr Sommerfield said the Waste Facilities Garden Competition is part of the Region’s celebration of Spring.

“The competition coincides each year with our Region’s premier event, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers,” Cr Sommerfield said.

“Council’s waste management facilities are owned by the community, as well as workplaces for our staff.

“There is beauty wherever you go, and the annual Waste Management Facility Garden Awards highlights the pride that our staff show in their workplace.”

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