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Recycling leaves positive Impact

Impact recycling services
IMPACT’s supported staff sort through all of the material brought to the Bundaberg Regional Council's Material Recycling Facility by hand. Photo: IMPACT Community Services

More than nine million soft drink bottles, enough to fill 360 domestic swimming pools, have been recycled by the team at Impact Community Services in the past financial year.

The impressive figure is one of many captured in the organisation's annual report, which was recently released in time for National Recycling Week.

Through a range of recycling and collections social enterprises the team at Impact is continuing to make a positive difference to the environment while providing employment opportunities for employees with disabilities.

The Material Recovery Facility (MRF), owned by Bundaberg Regional Council and managed by IMPACT Community Services, is one of these social enterprises.

All of the waste from Council’s yellow-top bins is sorted by Impact's workers at the site on University Drive.

MRF Australian Disability Enterprises Manager Tim Van Kooten said in the 2021/22 financial year, IMPACT processed and stopped 9000 tonnes of material from going to landfill.

He said having a passionate team was a big part of the organisation's success.

“The workers inspire me, they always come to work with a smile and are genuinely excited to be here,” Tim said.

“It is awesome to see them grow and become more confident in themselves, and see them develop into fine young individuals,”

At the same location as the MRF, Impact also operates a Container Refund Point as part of the COEX Containers for Change Scheme.

General Manager Robert Henderson said the Containers for Change scheme gave people an incentive to collect and return containers for recycling, in exchange for a 10 cent refund payment.

“We recently opened a new location at Bargara and have plans to open various additional CRP points in the next 12 months to make the scheme even more accessible across the region,” he said.

“At present, we employ 35 staff across our two CRP location and the MRF.”

Through both the MRF and Containers for Change scheme, the Impact team is kicking some serious recycling goals.

In the past financial year Impact Community Services recycled:

  • Nine million soft drink bottles – enough to fill 360 average sized domestic swimming pools
  • 30 million aluminium cans – saving enough energy to run a TV for 10,300 years
  • 4.6 million milk bottles – if laid top to tail they would go around Uluru/Ayres Rock 130 times
  • 20 million glass containers – enough to cover the distance from Bundaberg to Melbourne and back

Read more about what Impact Community Services do in the recycling space here: http://ow.ly/cZNt50L0sIp

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