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Recycling business creating sustainable employment in Logan

An innovative recycling business which is creating sustainable employment as well as helping Work for the Dole (WfD) participants learn new skills is welcomed by BUSY At Work.

BUSY At Work Field Operations Manager, Radmila Desic said BUSY was very supportive of the Substation33 project which is an initiative of YFS Social Enterprise, a not-for-profit organisation delivering a range of services to the Logan community.

Since opening in January 2013 as an electronic waste recycling centre, Substation33 is providing a workplace where volunteers and employees can gain confidence and skills to allow them to make the transition to long term employment.

“Substation33 offers a very supportive workplace where employees and Work for the Dole participants can have a positive influence on the environment as well as having the opportunity to break into an emerging industry,” Ms Desic said.

YFS Social Enterprise Manager, Tony Sharp said the Kingston based business was about recouping electronic waste, stripping it down and recycling the materials.

“Our aim is to ensure that only 3% of our waste ends up in land fill. We recycle laptop batteries to build battery modules which can then be placed in recycled bicycles so they can become motorised.”

“We then sell the bikes to jobactive organisations so they can assist job seekers to get to their work placements. We also build 3D printers as well as make our own plastic ink for the printers from recycled materials,” Mr Sharp said.

Ms Desic said it was encouraging to see the business supporting the Logan community with a number of schools incorporating the new technology into their curriculum.

To encourage the development of the knowledge and skills required Substation33 also facilitates placements for Work for the Dole participants.

“Many of the participants are extremely engaged in the workplace which is evident from their eagerness to learn new skills and be part of an exciting industry.”

“Substation33 has also recently employed a trainee undertaking a Certificate IV in Information Technology, demonstrating that the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector is keeping up and adapting to these emerging industries,” Ms Desic said.

Work for the Dole participant Malorie-Kae Steinmuller started her six month placement in early January and was excited to be part of the Substation33 project.

“I had previously come from a hospitality and retail background but quickly became interested in the creative design aspect of 3D printing.”

“This is a brilliant hands-on environment to learn in and I am so pleased to be given the opportunity to acquire new skills and potentially gain employment in an emerging industry,” Ms Steinmuller said.

BUSY At Work CEO, Paul Miles said BUSY was pleased to be an active supporter of Substation33.

“We are excited to be supporting this initiative and know the participants will have the opportunity to upskill their knowledge base and develop their creative problem solving skills, as well as gain training opportunities.

As this enterprise grows it will also realise the potential for greater sustainable employment opportunities. We look forward to Substation33 continuing to make a difference in the Logan community,” Mr. Miles said.

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