Robert Campbell, Manager with Endeavour Foundation Industries, said:
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to provide recycling and waste management solutions to the Gympie community. This is an area in which we have a great deal of experience, as we already operate a large number of transfer stations and resource recovery centres, e-waste recycling sites, tip shops and recycle markets across Queensland.
“Our purpose is to fund our investment into providing real possibilities for people with a disability at home and in the community – in Gympie that means day services, in-home support, accommodation and specialist behavior support - and also to provide new supported employment opportunities. In that sense, this recycling and waste management contract enables us to make a greater investment back into the local community.
“We are dedicated to helping local people with a disability live fulfilling lives, working together to make the most of individual skills and interests - whether that is developing life skills, trying a new activity, work or learning. Thanks to contracts such as this, we can look forward to continuing to support the local community into the future.”
Transfer stations at Bonnick Rd, Tin Can Bay, Mary Valley, Gunalda, Sexton, Widgee and Rainbow Beach will remain operational. Existing stations at Kilkivan and Goomeri – which were previously unattended – will be staffed from 1 July. The Traveston site will close and, as specified by Gympie Council, so will Southside.
From 1 July onwards, Tip Shop operations will also be consolidated across three sites - Bonnick Rd, Tin Can Bay and Mary Valley. By doing so we can recover more good quality items which were destined for landfill, and store them better to prevent deterioration.
“By centralising and staffing Tip Shop operations at these locations we will be able to salvage more effectively and provide the public with better quality items, and make it easier to ensure adherence to legislation around the retailing of second hand goods and fair trading laws, which is a condition of the council’s tender specifications. We believe these changes will create a ‘win-win’ situation for recycling customers as well as people with a disability, who will benefit from the proceeds.”
Over 140 applications were received for the 18 posts available under the new structure - seven of which are permanent part-time roles and one permanent full-time. Candidates were shortlisted based on criteria including relevant skills, salary expectations and experience. Eleven former Red Cross staff have now been employed by our organisation as part of the new council contract, alongside two existing Endeavour Foundation staff and five external applicants – all of whom, bar one person from just outside Mary Valley, are from the Gympie region.
“Crucially Endeavour Foundation, as a disability service provider, will now be in a position to provide five people with a disability with the opportunity to work alongside staff at these sites, gaining customer service and retail experience in a community-facing role. This provides a brand new opportunity for training and work experience for the local people with a disability who have expressed an interest in taking part.”