A new program being rolled out across Vinnies stores in Victoria is expected to give a second life to 100,000 electrical items.
Vinnies shops in Victoria will start taking donations of electrical goods
About 100,000 electrical items will get a second life
More people are relying on charity services amid inflation
The St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria has trained 200 Green Sparks volunteers to test and tag electrical goods that were once bound for landfill.
The items would then be resold via the charity’s shops.
The initiative will be rolled out in more than 100 Vinnies shops and comes after e-waste was banned from Victoria’s landfills in 2019.
E-waste was found to be growing up to three times faster than general municipal waste in Australia.
The category includes any device that has a plug, battery or power cord, including televisions, computers, mobile phones, kitchen appliances and whitegoods.
“We are actually diverting 100,000 electrical items to reuse just here in Victoria,” said Jeff Antcliff, Vinnies Victoria’s executive general manager of commercial services.
“On top of that, there’s also 100 tonnes that we are sending to recycling that is also being diverted away from landfill.
The project was propelled along with the help of a $250,000 grant from the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund, which is delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the state government.
Reuse helping the wallet
Mr Antcliff said the program was being rolled out at a time when more people were seeking cheaper electrical goods options given the inflationary economic environment.
“The cost-of-living pressures are definitely there,” he said.
“We are seeing more people reach out to Vinnies and other charities across Victoria.
“This is a great opportunity for two things: it creates a circular economy, and it’s great if we can get an item that is not only used once, but gets a second life and third life.”
Vinnies shops have now begun accepting electrical items but advised that donations should be of a working quality
“With every donation, make sure it’s good enough to give to your family because then it’s good enough to give to Vinnies,” Mr Antcliff said.
All profits from the sale of recycled electronic goods will support St Vincent de Paul Victoria’s frontline support services for people in need.