Upcycle Village

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 community groups/ educational institutes can use to carry out upcycling programs and projects.

Council’s Resource Recovery Strategy sets out a path to become a zero waste community by the year 2050. The most effective practices in the hierarchy of waste disposal to achieve this are 'reduce' and 'reuse'. The Upcycle Village is a means to put this into action. 

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 invited applications from whole of community for other programs, Multicultural Australia applied again due to their program receiving another round of state government funding.


Who's been 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 completed its fourth round of trainees in March 2024 and has now moved to another site.

The program was 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.


Who's in the Village now?

The Village shed and compound is currently being upgraded - stay tuned for an update!