TES - Social Enterprise Partnership in Australia (1)

Social Enterprise Partnership in Australia

01-October-2020

Social Enterprise Partnership in Australia

A partnership to positively impact the lives of people with disabilities has lasted for over half a decade in Australia. Working with the National E-waste Alliance (NEWA), TES supports the financially sustainable e-waste recycling social enterprises that have recycled over 25 million kilograms of end-of-life televisions and computers under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.

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As a unified representative body of disability organisations, NEWA established a national network of locations nationally to accept and dismantle e-waste for TES.
All the while
complying to safe and environmentally responsible standards, providing critical training and gainful employment for hundreds of people with disabilities.  

Australian disability enterprises are uniquely suited to e-waste recycling services. The work is manual, interesting, and achieves high levels of resource separation. It is satisfying to witness and contribute to upskilling and the acquisition of new expertise which is always relished by eager staff. We are proud of our association with NEWA and its members in enabling access to e-waste services across the country for our customers whilst creating a meaningful and ongoing impact on the lives of people in the community.” said Alvin Piadasa, Group Environmental Sustainability Director. “This program is a true example of a triple bottom line approach for TES.” 

“In addition to commercial service fee arrangements that pay for staff salaries and keep the lights on, TES is also our final downstream recovery channel for liberated commodities such as circuit boards and batteries which is synergistic and demonstrates full traceability and environmentally sound management of the complex materials that we process, said Kevin Mooney of NEWA. “It’s a win for everyone and for the environment!” 

Having an interest in machinery and feeling a sense of satisfaction from working with his hands meant 42-year-old Dugald Smith was the first person in line to be a part of the Greenacres e-waste team. “I was so happy when Greenacres started working with e-waste because I really like this kind of work,” Dugald said. “I am doing the work I love – it is so satisfying taking apart a big machine like a printer and being able to recycle the different parts so that it doesn’t just end up in landfills.” 

This year Dugald, who has cerebral palsy, celebrated 20 years with Greenacres and while he has held a variety of roles, he says the organisation has provided him with so much more than just work opportunities.  “I am a single dad of four and I’m raising two of my daughters by myself,” Dugald said. “Greenacres has really supported me, not just at work but in my family life as well. My kids love coming to all the Greenacres events like Picnic Day and the Christmas Party – everyone knows them and they have a lot of fun.”  

General Manager John Harvey said that the Greenacres e-waste division has seen significant growth since its inception, expanding to take advantage of the growing commercial e-waste market. “Greenacres e-waste helps solve the growing e-waste problem while providing sustainable employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities,” John said. “Our skilled team works in an inclusive, supportive environment where they are encouraged to have goals and dream big. With his practical experience, strong work ethic, and a keen interest in machinery, Dugald was the perfect fit for e-waste. Being involved in meaningful work means Dugald and the rest of the e-waste team have a sense of purpose and higher levels of confidence, independence, and self-esteem.”  

With increasing offshore manufacturing and packaging shrinking the traditional customer base of Disability Enterprises, the partnership between TES and the National E-waste Alliance partnership has allowed Greenacres to diversify into a new area of business,” John Harvey said. “With the continued support of the National Ewaste Alliance and TES, we can not only keep providing fulfilling work for the current team but train even more people with disability in the role. Unlike other contracts that come and go, e-waste is constant and sustainable and we can see it becoming a cornerstone of our operations.”

As a unified representative body of disability organisations, NEWA established a national network of locations nationally to accept and dismantle e-waste for TES.
All the while complying to safe and environmentally responsible standards, providing critical training and gainful employment for hundreds of people with disabilities.

“Australian disability enterprises are uniquely suited to e-waste recycling services. The work is manual, interesting, and achieves high levels of resource separation. It is satisfying to witness and contribute to upskilling and the acquisition of new expertise which is always relished by eager staff. We are proud of our association with NEWA and its members in enabling access to e-waste services across the country for our customers whilst creating a meaningful and ongoing impact on the lives of people in the community.” said Alvin Piadasa, Group Environmental Sustainability Director. “This program is a true example of a triple bottom line approach for TES.”

“In addition to commercial service fee arrangements that pay for staff salaries and keep the lights on, TES is also our final downstream recovery channel for liberated commodities such as circuit boards and batteries which is synergistic and demonstrates full traceability and environmentally sound management of the complex materials that we process,” said Kevin Mooney of NEWA. “It’s a win for everyone and for the environment!”

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