Green Collect, supported by Isuzu for its vehicle requirements, is helping to create new life for waste products, while changing the lives of its disadvantaged employees.
As the Co-Founder of Green Collect, Darren Andrews has seen first-hand the transformative impact of employment.
Green Collect places an emphasis on the reuse, upcycling and recycling of materials in order to ensure they can be diverted from landfill. But, as Darren explains, it is so much more than a resource recovery-oriented business.
“We are a non-for-profit social enterprise with the objective of creating employment and training for people who have experienced disadvantage in the workforce,” Darren says. “Many of our staff come from a broad range of backgrounds and life stories, all of which we value. We believe that they contribute greatly to our business.
“Some of those life experiences, including homelessness, cultural exclusion or refugee status means that finding employment through conventional streams is difficult. That is part of our service; to provide employment training.”
Green Collect is the initiative of Darren and Co-founder Sally Quinn.
“Sally has a background in social work. I have a background in environmental policy and planning,” Darren says.
“In 2001 we worked on an idea to create a business which collected items previously discarded to landfill that had potential to be recycled. This also provided work for people who had faced barriers to employment.
“Employment was, and still is, one of the key metrics in making a difference in people’s lives.
“Being able to provide employment means that these workers, some of whom may be homeless, now have referees and are able to secure private rental accommodation.”
The foundation for Green Collect was a pilot program, which began in 2002. Darren and his team initially focused on the recovery of corks from champagne and wine bottles within the hospitality sector. Today, they recover redundant office items, such as IT equipment, stationery, videos and DVDs, and furniture.
Darren says an increasing demand for Green Collect’s services required upgrades to both its vehicle fleet and operating infrastructure.
“Previously, we required smaller vehicles as our site had tight access for vehicles. As the size of our service has grown we have moved sites, which is why we were searching for larger vehicles,” he says.
Green Collect has a collection service that works with 11 councils to pick up materials not covered by traditional kerbside waste. It also sells a range of second-hand furniture, which meant it required a truck that could provide adequate unloading and loading capabilities, for a reasonable price.
“We needed a bigger truck for efficiency and optimisation, so less trips and more volume. But we still needed a vehicle which could have the mobility of a smaller vehicle, as a lot of the work we do with these products is CBD-based,” Darren says.
Isuzu was the truck supplier of choice, with the NNR 45-150 Vanpack selected by Darren and the Green Collect team.
“Isuzu was able to give us a great deal on that vehicle as part of its support of Green Collect and our mission,” he says. “We had been searching for a new vehicle but due to COVID-19 disrupting supply and demand it was difficult to find a suitable truck for a good price.”
Isuzu customised the NNR 45-150 Vanpack, which features automated manual transmission, multimedia kit and a reversing camera. As an added bonus for Green Collect, a hydraulic tailgate and side entry to the vehicle were installed to aid with the unloading and processing of products.
To enhance the comfort and safety of the vehicle for Green Collect’s commutes, the NNR 45-150 Vanpack also features Isuzu Electronic Stability Control, which detects when the wheels of the vehicle begin to spin, then applies power, or the brakes, to ensure that the vehicle is able to achieve traction.
The four-metre by two-metre pantech body, which is made from fibreglass honeycomb panels, provides strength and stiffness to the body without adding weight.
For security, the NNR 45-150 Vanpack also features camlocks on the barn doors, to safeguard precious cargo.
Darren says the NNR 45-150 Vanpack so far has been a complimentary, and essential, addition to Green Collect’s vehicle fleet.
“We are able to safely load and unload materials when we are both dropping off and collecting as part of our services,” he says.
“It was a while before we found a suitable truck. Isuzu was able to provide one that was perfect for our operation.”
For more information, visit: www.isuzu.com.au and www.greencollect.org