Greener Gladstone thanks to $673,000 disability enterprise expansion

Greener Gladstone thanks to $673,000 disability enterprise expansion

RESIDENTS and businesses will soon be able to take a (paper) weight off their shoulders with a greener approach to recycling documents.

Endeavour Foundation, which employs 29 Gladstone locals with disability, has received a $350,000 grant from the Gladstone Foundation which, along with $323,000 of its own funds, has been put towards expansion of its Business Solutions Site on Lyons Street.

Site Manager Robert Campbell said the development was great news for people with disability in Gladstone.

“These upgrades will allow Endeavour Foundation to expand our Gladstone operations, and create more sustainable employment opportunities for people with disability in the region, while helping local companies reduce waste,” Mr Campbell said.

The upgrades will provide a new secure shed to support present and future operations, and a brand new 2021 Transit 430E Van.

It will also feature constant CCTV security monitoring, set walkways that are sectioned off, secure areas where sorting and shredding occurs and improved fencing.

“These improvements will allow the site to meet Triple-A accreditation from the industry body National Association for Information Destruction (NAID),” Mr Campbell said.

“Once we receive NAID accreditation in July, we will be able to shred the most confidential documents – a service that is not available for hundreds of kilometres locally.”

288 tonnes of paper, that would otherwise be destined for landfill, is shredded annually by Endeavour Foundation in Gladstone, and baled on site before being transported to Toowoomba where it is converted into kitty litter.

“Triple-A NAID accreditation will be a first for the region and will mean we can shred significantly more documents, increasing the volume of paper waste being diverted from landfill, and creating new job opportunities for people with disability,” Mr Campbell said.

“It gives us so many more opportunities to take on more business and is fantastic to see.”

Mr Campbell said the upgrades would also see existing space repurposed for other uses.

“We’re going to include a first aid room, an administration office, and a new training centre, featuring an interactive Virtual Reality learning hub, which will greatly enhance the training we are able to provide to our employees on site,” he said.

Independent Chairperson of the Gladstone Foundation, Mr Tim Griffin, said the expansion would aid Endeavour Foundation’s dedicated employees and the wider community.

“The Gladstone Foundation is pleased to support a funding grant for this expanded social infrastructure facility to service the growing community needs, of the Gladstone Region,” said Mr Griffin.

“This grant will provide more than just economic benefits; it will provide legacy social infrastructure for the community of the Gladstone region to benefit from for many decades.”

Supported employee Racquel Nugent has been employed by Endeavour Foundation for 35 years having joined straight from school.

As the longest-serving employee she said she was excited for the upcoming changes.

“I’m really happy about the changes,” Ms Nugent said.

“For our environment here it is great, for the staff and employees to have the big change that is coming in.”

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