News & Events

OCAV turns shades of green

July 19, 2021

The OCAV Council recently committed to becoming an energy efficient and sustainable community.

One of the first steps will be to conduct energy audits across all four villages and Liscombe House, according to CEO Phillip Wohlers.

In the meantime, villages are pushing on several fronts towards becoming plastic free and have zero waste.

Braeside Park aims to go completely plastic free and is taking advantage of Plastic Free July to continue its efforts.

Marlene Timmins, apartments’ supervisor, said the village is well on its way to its goal and has more plans to switch to reusable alternatives.

“We never use plastic straws or cups, and our food deliveries come in reusable bags and are returned to the supermarket,” Marlene said.

Next steps in the campaign are to do an inventory of the single-use plastic items, including plastic plates, bowls and cups, bin bags, tea bags and water bottles.

“It is amazing how much plastic we have either in our work or home kitchens, and the many alternatives there are as well,” she said.

Those alternatives include using ceramic mugs, glass and stainless steel cutlery.

“Often people think they are doing the correct thing by swapping single-use plastic for bamboo, cardboard or compostable plastics but these still puts pressure on our recycling systems,” Marlene said.

This month is Plastic Free July which has been endorsed by local councils across Australia to reduce their own plastic use and connect homes, workplaces, schools and business to spread solutions to plastic pollution.

Marlene says turning plastic free is one step at a time.

“Once you’ve got everyone used to one change, start the conversation about picking another item. Through this method, you can slowly make your way towards being plastic free.”

The top four single-use plastics in Australia are take-away coffee cups, plastic shopping bags, plastic straws and water bottles.

In Rushall Park, residents and staff are involved in a cardboard collection service with the City of Yarra. The village is one of 50 sites chosen across the council’s jurisdiction.

The aim of the trial is to help determine whether a separate cardboard collection will improve the way the council manages cardboard recycling.

Nick Groves, Waste Engagement Officer, said the trial is based on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on purchasing habits.

“The increase of online purchases has resulted in an increase of cardboard that each household needs to dispose of,” Nick said.

“We recognise this shift in consumer behaviour has greatly affected apartment buildings with shared bins. If successful and suitable, this trial will also provide us with helpful information on how best to implement this service across all apartments in Yarra.”




Dorothy Clayton has felt very much ‘at home’ since she moved into Braeside Park nine years ago. Now, Dorothy, the village’s volunteer pastoral care worker, tries to ensure that others also feel a sense of belonging in the Berwick village.

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