Containers for Change officially launched in October in WA, and our own Good Sammy Enterprises is playing a huge part. Good Sammy is a Uniting Church WA agency providing employment opportunities for people living with disability.
As a Super Collector, Good Sammy has 16 collection points for all your used, eligible containers. Bring in your containers and get a 10 cent refund for each, or donate your refund to a registered charity – including Good Sammy.
Taking part in the scheme has provided staff at Good Sammy with some new and amazing opportunities as they prepared to launch and as they maintain their involvement going forward. The scheme itself is a great way to encourage recycling and keep our streets and parks clean of rubbish, but for Good Sammy it also provides more opportunities for people living with disability to enjoy meaningful employment.
Melanie Kiely, CEO of Good Sammy Enterprises, said there’s been a huge amount of amazing and interesting work created to get this project up and running.
“There’s been a huge amount of work,” she said. “We’ve got a brand new site that’s opened up in Wanneroo behind our main store, a drive through site.
“At Canning Vale we’ve taken one of our bays and had to paint it. It’s been completely kitted out, cleaned, painted, and equipment put in.
“There’s been a lot [of work] around building, there’s been a lot around traffic, there’s been a lot around training and recruitment. It’s been a massive project.
“Now that we’re up and running, the jobs, our [staff] love it. They love the diversity and they love building different skills in different places. They haven’t had to give up their old jobs, they’re getting to do a bit of both and that is allowing them to build up multiple skills.
“There’s a whole range of jobs that we’ve created across the patch and they’re enjoying the variety and opportunity to meet directly with customers, especially for our factory staff.”
Good Sammy have also been creative in the way they’ve approached getting involved in the scheme, by offering hospitality at their warehouse in Canning Vale.
“In Canning Vale we’ve also opened up our canteen to the public on Saturdays and we’ve trained a whole load of people to be baristas. We’ve opened a little coffee cart inside the canteen so people can come and get coffees after they’re dropped off. We’ve also opened a pop-up store in Canning Vale where they can come and shop on Saturdays.
“All that provides a range of different ways to build skills and to build people’s confidence as they progress through their employment journey.
“The level of enthusiasm is great. Our big challenge with the whole scheme now is building volume.”
Melanie said that Good Sammy provides a family friendly place to take part in the scheme. While some sites are operated with reverse vending machines, Good Sammy provides a personal touch with staff present at each site.
“The beauty of our sites is that it’s an amazing, friendly experience with our staff. Every time they come in they get to interact with the personality of Good Sammy and they’re getting to help develop people and give them confidence in a work situation.
“Secondly, our environment is much better for families. All of them are in the shade, all of them are cool and all of them have got people who are actually helping you.
“We’re trying to promote the environment, promote recycling, but most of all we’re trying to promote our people, our cause, and building confidence and skills in people with disabilities so that they can go and work in other jobs and move onto whatever job they want to do.
“Our point of difference is our personality.”
As a Super Collector, Good Sammy can collect and sort high volumes of containers for the scheme – though there is no minimum amount for collection either.
“We’re not just a small site where you can drop it off and we take small quantities. We’re a super collector because we can have drive through sites where we’ll take large volumes,” said Melanie.
“We also work with corporates and other organisations where we get large volumes. We get the containers and we sort it, and then it gets picked up by the logistics people for processing.”
Taking part in the scheme is a great way for people to raise some extra cash or to fundraise for community groups and charities. Uniting Church WA agency, Juniper and Uniting Church WA school, St Stephen’s School, among other organisations in the community, have both come on board the program in support of Good Sammy. Melanie is keen to partner with more Uniting Church organisations, especially schools, in the program.
“We’d love more schools,” she said. “We’d love to get schoolkids involved in coming and finding out about the environment, coming on-site, volunteering their time, and meeting our staff, so they can understand not everybody in the world has got the same opportunity – broadening their perspectives on life.
“There’s a lot more opportunities around how we can partner within the Uniting Church that we’d love to explore. There are multiple benefits in terms of environment, in terms of inclusion, in terms of community, there’s just so much potential. We should all work together.”
Eligible containers include most uncrushed aluminium and steel, glass, plastic, and liquid paperboard drink containers between 150ml and 3L. Milk and juice bottles, wine and spirit bottles and cordial bottles are ineligible, but check the websites below for more information.
Find a Good Sammy Containers for Change drop point on their website.
Find out more about the Containers for Change program.
Top image: Staff from Good Sammy Malaga: Bianca, Megan, Lara and Fleur, with their Store Manager, Lisa (front). Good Sammy Enterprises is a Super Collector for the new Containers for Change scheme in WA.