Interest growing to recycle plants
ON the Pacific Highway at West Ballina is a little oasis called Trev's Recycled Garden.
It's home to Trevor Murray, but it is a place he also shares with the community.
After starting out with nothing, Trev now has more plants than he can count, along with some chickens and birds, including a friendly cockatoo.
"I wanted some plants to create a bit of privacy but I couldn't afford to buy them," he said.
"So I started getting them from landfill.
"I realised there are a lot of people out there who need to get rid of plants but hate to see them just being thrown away."
Trev concedes his home-come-business is "not the norm", and he has been fighting a few battles with Ballina Shire Council.
But the battles have been worth it.
After lodging a development application with the council, he recently gained approval to keep the recycled garden up and running.
It's a relief for Trev.
He had a heart attack about four years ago, and then decided he wanted to make a difference in the world.
"Everyone talks about climate change, saving the environment and doing something for the future generations," he said.
"But no one actually does anything.
"Stopping all these plants from going into landfill is what I'm doing.
"My idea is simple - people bring in their plants and get garden credits so they can take something different home.
"It's just got bigger and bigger, and then bigger again.
"I've been amazed by it, because I just started out with a pocketful of palm seeds.
"All you need is a lot of patience and a little bit of optimism.
"In reality, every town in Australia could be doing something like this."