. City of Gold Coast, QLD
. eWater Systems Pty Ltd, VIC
. Plastic Free Foundation, WA
Established in 2013, Substation33 started its journey as an eWaste recycling facility. We successfully combined that alongside a social enterprise initiative with a charter to improve social disadvantage by providing skills training and experience to foster positive vocational outcomes for at-risk youths and the long-term unemployed.
We now offer people from a broad range of personal situations and challenges the ability to grow and learn in a supportive and non-judgemental workplace. From this relatively simple platform we have grown to incorporate an innovation, prototyping and co-working space with a core purpose of commercializing products repurposed from eWaste and recycled Lithium-ion batteries.
Our unique environment attracts highly skilled altruistic personalities in the form of volunteers, retirees, business professionals and academics. They pass on their decades of accumulated knowledge to the emerging generations and help Substation33 and its partners grow to the next level.
In 2018/9 Substation33’s 13 staff supported, mentored, and trained more than 600 volunteers to perform 80,000 hours of activity in our facility. In that same period of time 200 tonnes of eWaste has been collected, recycled and diverted from landfill. Substation33 are masters in partnerships. As with our model of finding innovative ways to reuse eWaste, we do the same with how we connect and partner with corporates, governments, education providers and community organisations. We curate connections and are dedicated to sharing our ideas, projects and passion not only for the environment, but also for the community.
We also use those connections to link people back into employment. In the past 12 months our ‘Transition to Employment’ program has assisted 100 individuals to get back into sustainable employment, with others going into training programs to make career changes or pursue a passion.
Substation33 has a unique way of breathing life and purpose back into the people who come through our doors and we send them back out more aware of what it means to live in a sustainable manner personally and environmentally. We take community seriously and cultivate a culture of respect, acceptance and creativity that thrives on our factory floor and when we host and facilitate robust conversations at community workshops, hackathons/makerthons, think tanks and guest speaker events. We have an important partnership with Logan City Council for whom we build and remotely monitor (in real time) ‘Flooded Road’ signs to prevent drivers from dangerous flooded crossings.
There are currently 119 signs around the city with more being installed weekly. We are proud to be viewed as leaders in Logan City. From a humble and simple idea that formed in Tony Sharp’s brain seven years ago that involved four people pulling apart eWaste at a small table, a truly remarkable, meaningful and sustainable organisation has emerged. Substation33 has momentum and an impact that reaches from Logan into the world.