Successful Port recycling centre moves to new location

WASTE AND RECYCLING

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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A 100,000-strong collection of cans, bottles and plastic about to leave Port Douglas Recycling with owner Stacy Wilkinson having one last look. Images: Howard Salkow.
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Port Douglas Recycling, the shire’s Containers for Change refund point, has not only proven to be a successful business venture, it is also becoming a healthy cash cow for enterprising residents.

Capitalising on the volume of beer bottles, aluminium soft drinks, beer cans and plastic soft drink and water bottles that circulate within the community, there is an element of bravado as yellow bins are raided and freed of any recyclable item.


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Stacy Wilkinson, the owner of Port Douglas Recycling, who opened the depot in Craiglie on 1 November, said he was aware that this was occurring.

“I guess this is ‘stealing’ from people’s bins. I do not agree with the practice, but there is not much I can do about it,” he says.

It has now become a common sight as heads can be seen buried in the yellow bins and the ‘valuable cargo’ retrieved for easy cash.

When he opened the depot, he was collecting 30,000 items. This has since risen to 100,000 and Wilkinson says this has literally gone crazy.

“Our success has forced us to move premises and we can now be found on the Captain Cook Highway between the Round House and the pool shop.

“We have also grown in staff numbers. I started on my own in November, and we then added additional resources in January, March and April and now have four staff members,” he said.

For what was once considered a hobby, Wilkinson is not surprised the concept has been well received and he foresees exciting growth.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to make money and the additional positive is that you will now see fewer cans and bottles scattered across our streets and walkways.

“I believe there are opportunities to get involved in the recycling of cardboard and aluminium. There is potential which needs to be capitalised upon,” he said.

The Containers for Change scheme was rolled out state-wide on 1 November and Queenslanders can receive a 10c refund on every eligible can, glass or plastic bottle returned to a registered recycling depot.

Everything collected is taken to Cairns by truck and the glass is turned into a sand type of a product, the plastic is shredded and the aluminium is squashed into aluminium bricks and sold off on the metal market as clean aluminium product.

Port Douglas Recycling is located on the Captain Cook Highway between the Round House and the Pool Shop and is open to the public from 10am to 4pm every day, except Tuesdays.


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