Albany students recycle to build a business ahead of container deposit scheme launch

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Albany Secondary Education Support Centre students Liam Walker, Joanalyn Forte, Tyler Black, Lexx Tilbrook and Chad Swarbrick.
Camera IconAlbany Secondary Education Support Centre students Liam Walker, Joanalyn Forte, Tyler Black, Lexx Tilbrook and Chad Swarbrick. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

A team of business-savvy students have launched a new recycling initiative to raise money for their school by cashing in on WA’s new container deposit scheme.

The State Government’s Containers for Change program will begin on Thursday, allowing West Australians to receive 10¢ for every eligible container they provide for recycling.

Recyclers are also given the option to donate their container cash to a charity or community group of their choice.

Albany Secondary Education Support Centre students have been hard at work growing their own business to collect and sort the community’s recycling.

Not only will the students be raising funds for their school but they will be honing a range of new skills including marketing, customer service, and money-handling.

ASESC teacher and business program co-ordinator Jake Butler said students had built their enterprise from the ground up starting with a business plan, marketing materials and waste surveys at their school.

“It’s been a fantastic learning experience for everyone involved,” he said.

“The business started as a small school-based enterprise, however, has gradually turned into something much bigger.

“As a long-term educational tool, the program will provide future students the chance to take part in a business with community outreach.”

Paul Lionetti with students and staff from the Albany Secondary Education Support Centre.
Camera IconPaul Lionetti with students and staff from the Albany Secondary Education Support Centre. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

With the help of Albany businessman Paul Lionetti, special recycling bins have been placed around North Albany Senior High School to collect containers.

A secure 24/7 donation bin created at the sheet metal workshop at Albany Regional Prison has also been donated to allow the community to drop-off eligible containers at the school.

Starting next term, students will be stopping at local businesses to offer their collection services before taking the containers to refund points for processing.

“So far, it’s been a lot of theory, meetings and paperwork, so the guys are very excited to get out into the community to develop their communication skills as recycling representatives,” Mr Butler said.

“Those of our students that are non-verbal will be communicating to clients through an app.

“Others will be working on key skills, such as eye contact and pace and tone in their speech, to develop customer service skills.”

Year 11 student Samuel Morgan, 17, said it felt “exhilarating” to take part in the program.

“I am most excited about learning the importance of recycling and how to start a business,” he said.

“I am really passionate about helping the environment.”

Eligible plastic, glass and aluminium containers can be donated at the ASESC Rec Collection point at the Albany Secondary Education Support Centre in Orana.

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