Ask Scott Blundell what he does at Bundaberg’s Material Recovery Facility and he’ll tell you he helps keep it running like a well-oiled machine.
One of Scott’s roles is a greaser; someone who makes sure all the machines are oiled regularly to keep them in top working order.
All of the waste from Bundaberg Regional Council's yellow-top bins is sorted at the facility on University Drive.
Scott is just one of the many happy employees at the facility, which is operated by IMPACT Community Services under a program established to provide employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities.
IMPACT employs 24 workers with disabilities under the Australian Government's Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE). All of the supported workers are NDIS participants.
Like everyone at the facility, Scott is keen and enthusiastic about his work.
“I love it,” he said.
“They’re good bosses, and it keeps me out of trouble.”
And he gets to work with people who have become friends.
Scott does a bit of everything, except drive a forklift.
He does picking off the line, baling, cleaning and greasing; working every day from 7.30am to 4.30pm in a nine-day fortnight.
Scott has been at the MRF for 10 years, and before that he worked at Isis Shire Council, in its parks and gardens team.
He saw an ad on TV, came to IMPACT to enquire, and has loved every minute since.
Apart from the camaraderie and friendship, working at the MRF has given him a great opportunity to get ahead.
He has been able to save up and buy a Holden Astra which he bought last June.
IMPACT’s Enterprises General Manager Rob Henderson said the MRF provided people with disabilities fulltime employment and a place to learn valuable skills.
Workers were paid Pro Rata award wages and received all the attendant benefits, such as annual leave and sick leave.
“They learn crucial social and life skills and also gain the truly priceless benefit of a sense of purpose and a feeling that they are making a contribution to the community,” Mr Henderson said.
He said each week the facility processed about 38 council truckloads of recycling.
“This equals about 130 tonnes of kerbside recycling per week,” Mr Henderson said.
“We also process commercial recycling which is about 40 tonnes per week.
“The content is hand sorted, baled and sold to be made into new products.”