Recycling depot ploughs nearly $500,000 into local economy

PORT DOUGLAS RECYCLING

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The Port Douglas Recycling team that has grown to five. From left: Tia Cowan, Stacy Wilkinson (owner/founder), Tyler Dawson, and brothers Sunny and Jaylin Fobister. Image: Howard Salkow.
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More than $480,000 from the return of 4.5 million plastic containers, bottles and cans has been ploughed back into the Douglas Shire economy thanks to the success of Port Douglas Recycling.

The Craiglie-based operation, which celebrated its first anniversary on November 1, is currently handling 20,000 units per day and 120,000 per week. It serves about 80 customers per day who offload an average of 217 units for recycling.

Owner/founder Stacy Wilkinson says while many businesses are starting to slow down and prepare for the Christmas/New Year break, his was picking up and the volume of traffic was increasing by the day.

Wilkinson has also created four new full-time jobs. He began his operation as a sole entity and has since added four new positions.

“In our region and the Tablelands, towns such as Mareeba (4), Atherton (2) and Cooktown (3) have also created new jobs in this recycling venture,” he said.

And as Queensland marks the first anniversary of the Container Refund Scheme – Containers for Change – the Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch announced one billion containers had been returned.

“With Queenslanders able to get 10 cents back for recycling their containers, the outstanding results we’ve seen in the first year of the scheme has seen $100 million returned to Queenslanders and community groups.

“It is clear Queenslanders are enthusiastic about recycling and protecting the environment.

“The scheme has also created around 700 new jobs over the past year, and more than 330 refund points have opened state wide,” she said.

She said on average, more than 3.4 million containers are being processed per day across the state.

“It is not only a refund to Queenslanders; it is also helping the environment.

“These containers were the second most littered item in our state, but since the scheme started there has been a greater than 35 per cent reduction in containers ending up as litter.”

Minister Enoch has also announced that the Palaszczuk Government is offering funding to more than 100 not-for-profit and community organisations to help the scheme grow and provide a much needed boost to fundraising efforts.

Breakdown of figures:

Far North Queensland:
• 9,217,441 containers returned.
• In excess of $920,000 returned to community.
• More than 14 full time jobs created.

Greater Brisbane:
• 402,606,663 containers returned
• $40,260,666 returned to community
• 304 full time jobs created

Gold Coast:
• 98,882,134 containers returned.
• $9,888,213 returned to community.
• 35 full time jobs created.

Sunshine Coast:
• 58,239,687 containers returned.
• $5,823,968 returned to community.
• 30 full time jobs created.

South East:
• 10,056,320 containers returned.
• $1,005,632 returned to community.
• 7 full time jobs created.

Darling Downs:
• 75,305,783 containers returned.
• $7,530,578 returned to community.
• 41 full time jobs created.

Wide Bay:
• 85,232,241 containers returned.
• $8,523,224 returned to community.
• 56 full time jobs created.

Fitzroy:
• 75,309,583 containers returned.
• $7,530,958 returned to community.
• 60 full time jobs created.

Mackay:
• 35,033,909 containers returned.
• $3,503,390 returned to community.
• 34 full time jobs created.

Townsville:
• 72,315,108 containers returned.
• $7,231,510 returned to community.
• 59 full time jobs created.

Cairns:
• 58,268,946 containers returned.
• $5,826,894 returned to community.
• 40 full time jobs created.

South West:
• 10,432,839 containers returned.
• $1,043,283 returned to community.
• 7 full time jobs created.

Central Queensland:
• 3,527,552 containers returned.
• $352,755 returned to community.
• 6 full time jobs created.

North Queensland:
• 6,090,056 containers returned.
• $609,005 returned to community.
• 13 full time jobs created.


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