Partnership Turns e-Waste into Employment
10 November 2011 at 9:43 am
Two social enterprises that create job opportunities for disadvantaged Australians have joined together on a project to reduce e-waste and increase job opportunities for people with a disability.
A trial between the NSW based organisations WorkVentures and Mai-Wel E-Cycling Services over the past two months has led to more than 30,000kg of computers and accessories being successfully recycled.
WorkVentures is a Not for Profit social enterprise that has been working since 1979 to increase employment opportunities for people at risk of social and economic exclusion.
Sydney-based social enterprise WorkVentures receives several thousand computers each year from business and government entities – 75% of the computers are refurbished and the rest are recycled.
WorkVentures says the recycling partnership with Mai-Wel will support employment opportunities for people with a disability in the Hunter.
The Mai-Wel Group was established in 1960 by a few families who wanted to provide their children with a disability with an outlet for education, opportunity and purposeful employment. Today the organisation provides services to more than 800 people, and employs more than 110 people with a disability across four businesses.
Arsenio Alegre, WorkVentures CEO, said all Australians should be able to share in the digital future, “Through our refurbishment program we can provide low income families and non-profit organisations with access to affordable, quality computers.”
Alegre said his organisation also receives a large numbers of printers, servers, racks and other equipment that cannot be reused.
“Through Mai-Wel’s disassembly and recycling processes we can ensure that almost nothing goes into landfill”, said Alegre.
Mai-Wel E-Cycling Services was established to develop jobs and training for people with a disability, and provides a recycling service of all electronic goods.
Mai-Wel’s CEO Pennie Kearney said, “Meaningful employment gives individuals the opportunity to be active members of their community.”
Kearney said the organisation – which was established in 2009 – has grown quickly, and they are pleased to bring a new partner on board to help expand the business.