Some people see the big picture, others the detail.

For two Australian groups, the rare ability to see both sides has resulted in new recycling systems that are helping keep the country beautiful.

Paul Richardson at Gnarloo Station was inspired by the tonnes of waste left behind by thousands of annual visitors. The sprawling sheep stud spans 220,000 acres next to Western Australia’s famous Ningaloo Reef.

Paul saw an opportunity to improve the area’s vast beauty by picking up after tourists and applied for a Keep Australia Beautiful grant, funded by Coca-Cola, in order to make machinery to cut up and store glass and cans.

Gnarloo is a tourist destination so the more people we have, the more waste we get,” Paul explained. “Glass and cans were two forms that were recyclable, so it was a good start.”

One short year later he had generated more than five tonnes of crushed glass so he applied for a second grant to fund its removal.

“We thought we’d try and remove the whole pile, so we took it to Perth in semi trailers, over 1000 kilometres away,” he said.

Flying high

Albury City Council’s Waste Management Team Leader, Andrea Baldwin, applied for the Keep Australia Beautiful grant to improve the city’s airport waste infrastructure.

“The airport is of a high standard, and the new high level bin infrastructure makes it really inviting for people coming into Albury,” she said. 

The council has also improved its recycling program with new recycling facilities at the local Lavington and Albury Swimming Pools. New education programs and infrastructure were built from scratch, supported by grants from Keep Australia Beautiful.

“There was no public place recycling here at all, so we've used that forum to get the infrastructure up and running,” Andrea said. “It's been very well received.”

Improving recycling rates at a local level is exactly what Keep Australia Beautiful is all about, explained the program’s National Executive Officer, Peter McLean.

“Local communities play an important role in tackling litter and diverting waste from landfill,” he said.

“These grants enable projects that otherwise might not come to fruition to be implemented by local community groups, councils, and other organisations to benefit both the local community and the environment in a positive, results driven way.”  

Visit the Keep Australia Beautiful national website at