Acres of e-waste opportunity

Former CEO Tony Fitzgerald, after whom the facility is named, and site manager James Stanfield, right, with some of the workers. Pictures: GARY SISSONS

Outlook acknowledged a bit of the past while securing its future with the opening of the new Tony Fitzgerald Enterprise Park in Officer on Wednesday 6 December.
The new facility is expected to process 1000 tonnes of e-waste in the first year with capacity to divert 5000 tonnes from landfill.
It is named in honour of long-time CEO Tony Fitzgerald who was instrumental in getting planning for the facility off the ground before he retired last year.
New CEO Sam Sondhi described the enterprise centre as “eight acres of opportunity” which over time would deliver Outlook’s mission to reduce and recycle waste while giving people with a disability the opportunity to work in an inclusive environment.
He said Outlook had ploughed $3 million into the project with the support of Sustainability Victoria and the Andrews Labor Government contributed $500,000.
The new 1000 square metre shed sits on land bought from Places Victoria.
It will process e-waste, including everything from old mobile phones, computers and related equipment, audio devices, refrigerators and other white goods, hair driers, TVs, heaters, and air-conditioners.
The new facility will receive discarded electronics which are then stripped of components for reprocessing into new technology or sold on the second-hand goods market.
Moving Outlook’s e-waste operations to Officer from Pakenham expands its operation from existing facilities at Mornington, Darebin and Hampton Park.
In 2014 about 109,000 tonnes of e-waste entered Victoria’s waste and recovery system and there are projections that this will increase to more than 250,000 tonnes by 2035.
The new facility provides continued employment to 13 existing Outlook employees and has the capacity to provide 13 new jobs and ongoing employment support services for people with disabilities, or those who may otherwise find it hard to get work.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio, who opened the facility, said the Labor Government would ban e-waste from landfill and had invested $16.5 million in measures to ensure the ban was effective.
“The work of Outlook Environmental, and organisations like it, are an essential part of Victoria’s sustainable future,” she said.
“We know how damaging e-waste can be in the sustainability of the environment – that’s why we’re working with companies like Outlook to maximise recycling and reduce the amount of material that goes to landfill.”

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