Community GroupsNews

Recycling workshop’s first decade

WATERLOO: Waterloo Recycling Workshop (WRW) is a project of Counterpoint Community Services and is held each Friday morning in the garage of the Turanga flats at 1 Phillip Street. The workshop celebrated its first decade with a cake and balloons on August 24. Reflecting on 10 years of service, coordinator Naomi Ward expressed pride in many achievements, environmental and social. “It’s a place where the community comes together,” she said.  
Naomi Ward (fourth from left) with the WRW team and customers. Photo: Andrew Collis
Naomi Ward (fourth from left) with the WRW team and customers. Photo: Andrew Collis

According to Ms Ward, the success of the project is due to the dedication of hard-working volunteers who come each week to serve, clean, repair furniture, present and arrange the goods and have a chat with customers. “We started in 2008 from nothing except a small garage in which to store household goods and furniture we would bring out for the Friday market. In an adjoining garage we shared a workbench with Bicycle Recycle,” Ms Ward said.

“Soon after opening, Russell Walker joined as our carpenter and Di Bateup began sourcing the preloved furniture and household goods from neighbouring suburbs. The majority of these goods would otherwise go into landfill.

“In 2010, the late John English joined, just when we were to move to a much larger garage, which then became our shop and workshop. John was a carpenter by trade and created a highly functional workshop, complete with workbenches and shelving made out of recycled timbers.”

The workshop was soon fully operational, thanks to Di, John and a grant from the City of Sydney for the purchase of carpentry tools. The front part of the garage was transformed into an eclectic and colourful shop filled with an assortment of household goods for sale, all at very affordable prices.

On Friday mornings at 8.30am the roller door is raised, furniture and goods are brought outside and a vibrant, bustling market begins where customers come down to browse, purchase and chat until closing time at 12.30pm.

Current volunteers are Di, Liz, Natasha, Anne and Dave. All speak fondly of Ms Ward as a widely respected community leader, passionate about people as well as the art of making and maintaining a home; someone who leads by example, taking delight in the discovery of just the right thing for just the right price.

Donations of furniture and household goods are warmly received on Friday mornings.

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