Advancing sustainability at the 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival

30 April 2024 Written by VRC

In an initiative led by Victoria Racing Club (VRC), Superyard and Cirka, sustainability took centre stage at the 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival. This collaborative effort marked a pivotal moment in event management, emphasising the importance of environmental responsibility and community engagement.

Recognising the imperative to minimise waste and promote resource efficiency, Ritchie Djamhur of Superyard and Daniel Rowe of Cirka coordinated a comprehensive plan to repurpose event materials used at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, thereby mitigating environmental impact.

Djamhur highlighted the focus on community involvement, stating, “We’re prioritising community, health, and education bodies in Melbourne and the greater Victorian region.”

Rowe reiterated the importance of the partnership.

“Our relationship with Superyard allows us to repurpose construction material back into the community such as schools, community centres, and men’s sheds.”

Months prior to the event, meticulous planning laid the groundwork for success.

Superyard and Cirka identified reusable materials and enlisted the support of the VRC and the marquee builders to ensure effective separation and salvage processes.

Builders extracted materials such as wood, laminated veneer lumber, medium-density fiberboard, carpeting, and decking, paving the way for their repurposing. Diligently separating the reusable materials from the marquee pull-downs, they were then transported to Superyard’s temporary storage site.

At the conclusion of the four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Djamhur engaged with charitable organisations and community groups and facilitated the allocation of the repurposed materials - valued at more than $50,000 - to projects in need. These included the following:

  • Merri Outreach Services utilised pine wood and LVL for constructing a volunteer tearoom, enhancing their homeless outreach program.
  • Imagine Revolution created learning spaces with carpet, pine, and MDF sheets for youth engagement and education.
  • Harvester Technical College in Sunshine North, renowned for its specialised senior secondary programs in trade and vocational education, recently enhanced its training resources from the Melbourne Cup Carnival initiative. This contribution, comprising building materials, enabled the college to construct training window frames for its carpentry students. These frames serve as a practical learning tool, allowing students to practice window installations year-round. This addition aligns with Harvester’s commitment to providing real-world, trade-based learning experiences.

As proven by these projects , the impact of this initiative was significant, exemplifying the principles of the circular economy in action. By diverting more than 20,300 kilograms of materials from landfill disposal, Superyard, Cirka, and the VRC demonstrated a commitment to the environment as well as community empowerment.