Major recycling award shines spotlight on IMPACT

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Last updated: 07/07/2023

Bundaberg-based community organisation, IMPACT Community Services has been awarded for its efforts in providing job opportunities to Wide Bay workers with disability in Queensland’s annual Changemaker Awards.

IMPACT was named Small Operator of the Year alongside individuals, community groups and organisations from across Queensland at the 2023 Changemaker Awards held in Brisbane on Thursday, July 6.

Each year, the Changemaker Awards honour those making a difference in local communities by recycling through the Containers for Change scheme, which pays customers 10 cents for every eligible beverage container returned at a refund point.

IMPACT has been operating Container Refund Points in Bundaberg since 2018, driving the community to become a recycling leader resulting in a 54% increase in containers recycled from year to year.

IMPACT uses these refund points to provide greater opportunities for workers with disability, rostering these workers at all Container Refund Points so they can develop their skills while engaging with the broader community.

The organisation was also commended for its Container Refund Point at Qunaba, a self-sufficient and solar-powered facility making container refunds more convenient for residents in Bargara, Innes Park and Burnett Heads.

Team effort

Tanya O’Shea, Managing Director of IMPACT, shared her pride in her team following the award and attributed their success to a love for their local community.

“We are so proud to be recognised as Small Operator of the Year at the Change Maker Awards this year! This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team and their love for our community,” said Mrs O’Shea.

“The people of our community are at the heart of what we do. If our staff feel included, they’re more likely to make our customers feel welcomed. By prioritising staff development and investing in our people, we foster a positive and engaged workplace culture that benefits everyone.”

Sustainable focus

IMPACT’s award helps shine a light on some of the best sustainability efforts in Queensland alongside other winners in nine different categories which were brought to life by leading sustainability not-for-profit organisation, Container Exchange.

Container Exchange Chief Executive Officer, Natalie Roach said the commitment and creativity highlighted in this year’s awards submissions was inspiring.

“The 2023 Changemaker Awards showcase just what a profound effect the Containers for Change scheme is having on the communities of Queensland,” said Ms Roach.

“We are continuing to see individuals, community groups, charities and organisations create change and drive social impact in their local community, simply by collecting and returning eligible containers through the scheme.

“I want to congratulate the winners and all our finalists from this year’s Changemaker Awards for not only creating positive change for their community but helping clean up the local environment. Those recognised truly are making great change for the future.”

Changemaker of the Year – Hearts of Purple, Gold Coast
Community Group or Charity of the Year – Hearts of Purple, Gold Coast
People’s Choice Operator of the Year – Anything Environmental, Paget
Young Changemaker of the Year – Hudson Magee, Brisbane; Holly and Charli Garrity, Brisbane
Refund Point Employee of the Year – Rhys Cobbo, Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, Kingaroy
Sustainable Beverage Manufacturer of the Year – Mount Warning Beverage Company, Mt Warning NSW
Large Operator of the Year – Reef Recycling and Logistics, Townvsille
Medium Operator of the Year – Return ‘Em for Cash, Toowoomba
Small Operator of the Year – IMPACT Community Services, Bundaberg

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