Council backs launch of new recycling program

Port Macquarie-Hastings

A new initiative aimed at reducing the impact of waste by encouraging residents to recycle clothing and linen has been launched in Port Macquarie.

Not-for-profit foundation Willing & Able, in partnership with Impact Environmental Consultancy (IEC), has kick-started a new program called ReuseAbility that seeks to minimise textiles and bric-a-brac that would otherwise end up in landfill.

The partnership was formed after IEC received a successful Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) grant to help Willing & Able run their program locally.

Council has supported this program by offering its waste transfer stations as collection points for people to donate used goods, and provided its Waste Info App to use as a booking system for collections.

Quality donation stations have been installed at Council’s five waste transfer stations in Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Comboyne, Kew and Cairncross for residents to deposit linen, clothing, or bric-a-brac that are still in good condition.

Alternatively, residents may take their clothing, linen, or bric-a-brac to the Willing & Able Op Shop at 39 Jindalee Road, Port Macquarie from Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 2:00pm, or have items collected for free using the online collection service or mobile app.

Residents can submit a pick up request online, or via the Port Macquarie Hastings Council Waste Info App, and wait for a member of the Willing & Able team to call you to confirm your collection day and time slot. Collection areas are generally limited to where Council’s kerbside waste services are offered.

The not-for-profit provides employment for adults with intellectual disabilities, and every donation made helps provide meaningful paid employment.

Council’s Acting Waste Manager Sean McKinnon said the ReuseAbility Program supports Council’s vision of becoming an environmentally sustainable organisation that promotes and encourages responsible recycling and waste initiatives.

“ReuseAbility helps to promote a common shared goal of creating better awareness around environmental sustainability,” he said.

“Not only does this cause promote better environmental outcomes, but it also helps to facilitate important employment opportunities and social connectedness.”

Linda Elbourne from Willing and Able said clothing and linen are processed onsite by reselling quality items through its Op Shop and recycling other materials into rags for sale.

Ms Elbourne stresses that the quality of donations is vital, as disposing of unusable items – such as dirty or torn clothing and broken bric-a-brac – costs the charity over $25,000 in disposal fees each year. This money could be better spent helping the Supported Employees and community.

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