Greener Gladstone: grant provides expansion opportunities for Gladstone social enterprise

18 April 2021
Raquel Nugent
Racquel Nugent stands on front of tonnes or confidential documents, shredded and baled by the team at Gladstone Business Solutions for recycling

Gladstone residents and businesses will soon be able to take a (paper) weight off their shoulders with a greener approach to recycling documents while providing new job opportunities for locals with disability.

Endeavour Foundation, thanks to the support of a $350,000 grant from the Gladstone Foundation, and an additional $323,000 of its own funds, has started work on the expansion of its Business Solutions site located at Lyons St, South Gladstone.

Site Manager Robert Campbell said the development was great news for people with disability in Gladstone.

“These upgrades will allow Endeavour Foundation to expand our Gladstone operations and create more sustainable employment opportunities for people with disability in the region while helping local companies reduce waste,” Mr Campbell said.

“Our disability enterprise was started to provide much-needed job opportunities for people with disability and has been operating in Gladstone for more than 35 years. Thanks to this investment, we will be able to continue to do so for many years into the future.”

The upgrades will provide a new secure shed to support present and future operations and a brand new 2021 Transit 430E Van.

It will also feature constant CCTV security monitoring, set walkways that are sectioned off, secure areas where sorting and shredding occurs and improved fencing.

“These improvements will allow the site to meet Triple-A accreditation from the industry body National Association for Information Destruction (NAID),” Mr Campbell said.

“Once we receive NAID accreditation in July, we will be able to shred the most confidential documents – a service that is not available for hundreds of kilometres locally.”

Currently 288 tonnes of paper, that would otherwise be destined for landfill, is shredded annually by Endeavour Foundation in Gladstone and baled on site before being transported to Toowoomba-based business Fibrecycle, who convert the paper into kitty litter.

“Triple-A NAID accreditation will be a first for the region and will mean we can shred significantly more documents, increasing the volume of paper waste being diverted from landfill, and creating new job opportunities for people with disability,” Mr Campbell said.

“It gives us so many more opportunities to take on more business and is fantastic to see.”

Mr Campbell said the upgrades would also see existing space repurposed for other uses.

“We’re going to include a first aid room, an administration office, and a new training centre, featuring an interactive Virtual Reality learning hub, which will greatly enhance the training we are able to provide to our employees on site,” he said.

Independent Chairperson of the Gladstone Foundation, Mr Tim Griffin, said the expansion would aid Endeavour Foundation’s dedicated employees and the wider community.

“The Gladstone Foundation is pleased to support a funding grant for this expanded social infrastructure facility to service the growing community needs, of the Gladstone Region,” said Mr Griffin.

“This grant will provide more than just economic benefits; it will provide legacy social infrastructure for the community of the Gladstone region to benefit from for many decades.”

Supported employee Racquel Nugent has been employed by Endeavour Foundation for 35 years having joined straight from school. As the longest-serving employee she said she was excited for the upcoming changes.

“I’m really happy about the changes,” Ms Nugent said. “For our environment here it is great, for the staff and employees to have the big change that is coming in.”

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