Outlook bright for e-waste facility

Sam Sondhi, CEO Outlook, Centre: Minister D'Ambrosio, right: Edwin Hume, President Outlook Board of Management
A social enterprise is building a new e-waste recycling facility in Victoria to expand its recycling and sustainability operations.

Outlook provides jobs and training programs for people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds. As part of the organisation’s Environmental division, which incorporates waste transfer stations, e-waste processing and recycling shops, it is building a new, state-of-the art e-waste facility at Officer.

Bolstering its capabilities as an approved processor under the National TV and Computer Recycling Scheme, the new premises will operate in addition to an existing one at Darebin, and replace a temporary one operating at Pakenham.

The relocation of the e-waste recycling facility to Officer will enable Outlook to provide 26 jobs, create a further 12 ongoing jobs and continue to support disadvantaged people.

Sustainability Victoria has provided funding of $500,000 towards the construction and establishment of the new facility. Building is scheduled to start in December and it is expected to be operational in February 2017.

Officer Site Manager James Stanfield told Waste Management Review that the new premises will provide a wide range of new opportunities for Outlook.

“It’s an eight-acre site, so we will be looking at other options not limited to processing e-waste for the future, for example timber and upcycling,” said Mr Stanfield.

“The beauty of it from our perspective is that we will own it, run it and manage it based on our mission and obligations. It makes us that bit more independent and to play in the market place an as independent entity, so as a ‘not for loss’ organisation, any money we make will go into employing more people, not profits.”

“It really is the basic foundation for providing services to waste industry and reprocessing as much e-waste material as possible, with a view to us employing a maximum number of people with social disadvantage,” he added.

The creation of this additional site also supports the aims of the Victorian Government in banning e-waste to landfill and supporting other uses and markets for such materials.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio attended the ground-breaking for the new building along with Outlook CEO Sam Sondhi and President of its Board of Management, Edwin Hume.

“Outlook is a unique organisation and this new facility will create jobs and opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged members of our community,” she said.

“This new facility will divert up to 1,000 tonnes of e-waste from landfill annually and is a great example of different levels of government working together to achieve great outcomes.”

Photo at the recent sod turning at Outlook’s Officer site, from left, Sam Sondhi, CEO Outlook, Minister D’Ambrosio, and Edwin Hume, President, Outlook Board of Management.

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