1st October was a momentous day for change as the State Government’s Containers for Change initiative was launched across WA.
WA Premier Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA and Minister for Environment, Disability Services, and Electoral Affairs Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, officially opened the scheme at a celebratory ceremony held at one of Workpower’s refund points in Welshpool, operated in partnership with Return-It.
Workpower and Return-It processed the first containers under the scheme, and the 10c per container was donated to Workpower as an eligible not-for-profit organisation.
“We are very excited about the commencement of Containers for Change in WA, and very proud to participate in the official launch of the scheme at our Welshpool refund point,” says Workpower CEO, Ms Lee Broomhall.
Workpower’s new refund sites in Welshpool and Malaga will provide opportunities for locals, businesses, and community groups to trade their collected cans for cash.
“This scheme has created new opportunities for people with disability to build their capabilities in recycling and retail, and participate and thrive in their community by being a part of creating change here in WA.
“Many of our younger customers progressing through our work experience programs and seeking employment are passionate about protecting the environment. This is a great opportunity to marry their desire to make a difference with their employment goals.”
WA’s new container deposit scheme creates new businesses and employment opportunities for people with disability, people experiencing long- term unemployment, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Workpower is one of several purpose-driven organisations who run a refund point where over 50% of the workforce are people with disability. Nine workers are employed at the Welshpool site and eight at Malaga. It is expected that up to 30 new jobs for people with disability, as well as those from disadvantaged groups such as youth at risk, will be created from these sites.
Workpower provides cost-effective recycling solutions to local government through the management of re-use shops and recycling centre management, workforce supply and supervision, bin assembly, deployment and project management, and fire extinguisher recycling. Workpower also works with Cleanaway to remove lithium batteries from battery stores to prevent fire risk.
Containers for Change is set to revolutionise the way we recover and recycle containers.
With over 1.3 billion eligible containers used every year in WA, the scheme will improve significantly reduce waste and promote recycling and sustainability. It’s an opportunity for everyone in WA to participate in protecting our environment by reducing the amount of these containers going to landfill, and progressing WA’s strategy to become a low-waste circular economy.
“Containers for Change will create new businesses and employment opportunities across the State, and provide a new way for community organisations and charities to raise money,” says Minister Dawson.
229 refund point locations are set to open across the state in the first year, with an estimated 500 new jobs created in the process. 40% of these locations will be operated by social enterprises including Aboriginal corporations, community groups, and disability service providers like Workpower.
Our Welshpool and Malaga refund points are now open from October 1st to cash in containers for change. See here for further details and locations. For more, call 1800 610 665 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out where your closest refund locations are here.