Have you heard of Substation33?

Today I wanted to highlight a business that I have recently discovered in my (sort of)local community. No, this isn’t a train station, or a place to get sandwiches, but it is a place you will want to know about if you live in Brisbane or Logan regions, and have ever wondered what to do with your tech waste!

Recently, after once again participating in the Minimalism Game, we realized that we had a lot of tech waste, that we had already held on to for far too long. This ranged from CDs, all the way to a couple of old phones we were no longer using. We felt awful about this tech waste, wondering if there was some way to recycle it instead of sending it to landfill.

While there are other programs, (Officeworks definitely has one) we were wary of sending our tech waste off to an unknown place, never really sure where it would end up. On top of this, other programs only took certain kinds of tech waste, and we had a particularly large amount.

Using the principles of a circular economy (if you aren’t sure what that is, you can learn more about circular economies here) Substation 33 offers alternatives for electronic waste in our community. In their words, Innovative thinking and products are the result.

This result is their very own Innovation Lab which has created products such as Flooded Road Smart Warning SignsElectric ‘e-bikes’3D printers, a vertical garden monitoring system. I was personally very impressed with all of these projects, but was really excited to hear about a bicycle made of recycled laptop batteries. In 2015 alone, they took in one-hundred-thousand kilos of electronic waste, and only 3% of that ended up in landfill. That is an absolutely amazing rate of recycling. We knew this was the place to have our items repurposed.

When we arrived at Substation33, the volunteers were lovely, and unlike some experiences I’ve had with recycling facilities, there was definitely sorting and recycling happening all around.

One thing I am yet to mentioned was that while they have a huge environmental focus, their main focus is people. Substation33 pride themselves on supporting people. They offer a range of training and skills to people in the community, including volunteer opportunities (with on the job training which leads to employment opportunities) and long term employment within the organisation. Furthermore, they up cycle old laptops, to get cheap, accessible laptops into the homes of children in the community who would normally go without.

Check out this piece ABC news did on the organisation and see for yourself how great they are.

While I would never encourage anyone to have tech waste, if you do have tech waste, this is the place to take it! https://substation33.com.au/

Have you been to Substation 33 before? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

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