New Containers For Change depot for Newdegate to begin operating next month

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Newdegate Primary School students Billy Hams, 10, Flynn Turner, 10, Nick Hams, 10, Containers for Change Co-ordinator Liam Thompson, Ebony Westlake, 10, Jack Lloyd, 10, Ben Walker, 9, and Rhys Richardson, 9.
Camera IconNewdegate Primary School students Billy Hams, 10, Flynn Turner, 10, Nick Hams, 10, Containers for Change Co-ordinator Liam Thompson, Ebony Westlake, 10, Jack Lloyd, 10, Ben Walker, 9, and Rhys Richardson, 9. Credit: Pictures: Shannon Verhagen

Newdegate will soon have a Containers For Change collection depot thanks to the tireless efforts of local woman Nat Thompson.

The facility will be managed by Ms Thompson’s 23-year-old son Liam, who has a disability, from a shed at the Newdegate Machinery Field Days site.

It should be operating by next month.

“Containers For Change like to provide opportunities for people with disabilities or who are long-term unemployed, and I thought it would be ideal for Liam,” Ms Thompson said.

“I just thought it would play to his strengths; it’s something that he’s going to be really good at, sorting and all that kind of thing.”

Newdegate Containers for Change Co-ordinator Liam Thompson is looking forward to having a recycling centre in town.
Camera IconNewdegate Containers for Change Co-ordinator Liam Thompson is looking forward to having a recycling centre in town.

After missing the initial deadline for applications in October 2019, Ms Thompson approached the Shire of Lake Grace last year and got the green light.

“It was in my mind for a long time and then last year I thought, ‘I wonder if they’re still taking applications’, so I made contact with them and said I was interested and they didn’t say no,” she said.

“I just persevered and it was quite a process, but we’ve got there which is a little bit exciting and a little bit daunting, I suppose. Now the work begins.”

Ms Thompson said several temporary collection points would be set up at the Newdegate Machinery Field Days event to educate locals about the new facility. “We’ll have points around the place where people can drop off their recyclables and they’ll have signs on them to explain what it is,” she said. The Shire of Lake Grace provides fortnightly recycling bin collections in Lake Grace and Newdegate, however residents on outlying farms have no such option.

As well as giving locals the chance to earn a few extra dollars, it is hoped the new facility — which will accept most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard drink containers between 150ml and three litres — will prevent recyclables going to landfill.

One person who has welcomed the news is Newdegate Primary School student councillor Ebony Westlake.

Newdegate Primary School students Jack Lloyd, 10, and Ebony Westlake, 10, have been recycling cans and bottles this year as part of a student council initiative.
Camera IconNewdegate Primary School students Jack Lloyd, 10, and Ebony Westlake, 10, have been recycling cans and bottles this year as part of a student council initiative.

Ebony, 10, was instrumental in organising a recycling initiative that has been raising money for the school’s P&C for the past year.

“Mum and Dad made drums at the school, and up at the football club we have old wool bags, and once they’re full Mum and Dad take them to Hopetoun to get recycled,” she said.

“I started thinking about it when my family started collecting cans in the bush for Clean Up Australia Day.”

Newdegate Primary School principal Judy Garlick said the money raised so far had gone towards new laptops, a computer and books. “Ebony is amazing and her parents have been so supportive,” Ms Garlick said. “Now we’re really excited that Liam will actually have a Newdegate recycling centre and we can take them up there to him,” she said.

“That puts more money in town — the aim is to keep the money in town and use it for the Newdegate community.”

Read the full Newdegate Machinery Field Days program here.

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