Upcycle Village Vision
The Upcycle Village is a Council precinct located at the Lakes Creek Road Waste Management Facility, providing a practical working space that local entities can use to establish and run upcycling programs and projects.
Established in 2022, this program is directly aligned with the goal of zero waste as laid out in Council’s Resource Recovery Strategy.
The purpose of the Upcycle Village is to support local entities to:
- Divert waste from landfill
- Develop early stage upcycling ideas into financially sustainable enterprises
- Deliver social benefit
- Engage with broader community on issues of circular economy and zero waste
Upcycle Village History
- In 2020-21 it was identified that we needed to improve the front of house service delivery at the Lakes Creek Road waste management facility, including better harnessing the site’s potential to engage with the public, demonstrate upcycling activities and its role in a circular economy
- We went to market looking for an operator who could primarily deliver best value on the core operational requirements, i.e. salvaging, front of house management, customer service, reuse shop, etc. RRA were appointed in May 2021
- During 2021, we also went out to the community seeking viable upcycling projects that we could also host at the Lakes Creek Road facility. A co-design approach was adopted, facilitated by CQU and funded by Queensland Social Enterprise Council QSEC, which set about understanding the community need and establishing core objectives for the Upcycle Village program.
- During this co-design process, the “Building Foundations” program was presented by Multicultural Australia. This project was an excellent fit for the agreed objectives for the Upcycle Village, so it was established as a 12 month pilot program, an opportunity to help kick start both programs
- At the end of this pilot, Council will be required to go to market to invite applications from whole of community, including Multicultural Australia should they choose to apply.
Who's in the Village?
In order to kick start the establishment of the Upcycle Village, in May 2022 Council entered into a partnership agreement with Multicultural Australia (MA) to deliver their “Building Foundations” construction program.
The “Building Foundations” construction program is a Multicultural Australia program structured over 20 weeks with up to 20 participants. It supports local unemployed participants to get their Certificate I in Construction, while developing networks and generic work place skills for future job opportunities.
The trainees use raw materials and furniture items sourced from the Community Recycling Centre, creating new and restored furniture that is then made available to several local agencies for use in supported housing programs plus sold to public on Fridays.
Resource Recovery Australia (RRA) are also a key partner in this program - Council's current contractor managing the Community Recycling Centre and Reviva Ibis Reuse Shop at Lakes Creek Road Waste Management Facility. RRA help source suitable materials and items for use in direct liaison with Multicultural Australia.
The program is now in its fourth round of trainees as at October 2023.
The program is a great exemplar, demonstrating multi-agency partnership, with Council being a facilitator, helping to deliver a program that has positive employment, social and environmental outcomes.