2023 Change Maker Awards spotlight recycling pioneers in Western Australia

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The 2023 Change Maker Awards in Western Australia have acknowledged the remarkable efforts of individuals and organisations leading recycling initiatives.

These awards, organised by Containers for Change, the state’s container deposit scheme, brought together more than 600 attendees to honour refund point operators, community groups, businesses, schools, and individuals who have played key roles in helping Western Australians divert over 2.5 billion containers from ending up in landfills.

Western Australia now boasts over 250 container refund points, operated by various businesses and social enterprises, which have collectively generated more than 800 jobs.

In particular, the 2023 Change Maker Awards recognised 30 finalists across nine distinct categories.

The highlight of the event was the prestigious Change Maker of the Year Award, which celebrated outstanding contributions from refund points, community groups, individuals, businesses, and schools.

This award acknowledged excellence in the implementation of Containers for Change initiatives across all categories and those who have gone above and beyond to combat landfills.

Environment Minister Reece Whitby expressed his congratulations to all the recipients, finalists, and participants for their dedication to reducing recyclable waste.

“I congratulate each of the 2023 Change Maker Award recipients, finalists and entrants for their passion and dedication to reducing recyclable materials going to landfill, providing employment opportunities and supporting their communities,” Minister Whitby said.

Meanwhile, Tim Cusack, CEO of WA Return Recycle Renew Ltd (WARRRL), commended the meaningful contributions made by refund points in preventing landfills and aiding community groups in the state.

“The awards were a great opportunity to acknowledge the meaningful contributions that refund points are making to prevent landfill and help community groups across our State,” Cusack remarked.

The 2023 Change Maker Awards celebrated exceptional achievements across various categories, with the following individuals and organisations standing out as the Change Maker of the Year Award recipients.

Kensington Secondary School was recognised as the School of the Year for its outstanding contributions to recycling and sustainability education.

The WA AIDS Council (WAAC) earned the title of Community Participant of the Year, highlighting their remarkable engagement in community-based recycling initiatives.

Viktor Strizek, also known as Recycleman Perth, received the Individual of the Year award for his exceptional efforts in promoting recycling and environmental awareness.

Lleyton Brown, representing Avon Valley Cash4Containers, was named Refund Point Employee of the Year, acknowledging his dedication to recycling and customer service.

Goomalling Toodyay Containers for Change was honoured as the Not-for-Profit/Small Refund Point Operator of the Year, underscoring their impactful role in recycling.

The City of Fremantle Containers for Change was celebrated as the Medium Refund Point Operator of the Year for their substantial contribution to recycling in the community.

Good Sammy, a prominent organisation, was named the Large Refund Point Operator of the Year, recognising their extensive and effective recycling efforts.

The Veterans Transition Centre was distinguished with the Partnership of the Year award, signifying their valuable collaborative efforts in the recycling and sustainability sector.

Kensington Secondary School also clinched the prestigious Change Maker of the Year award, reflecting their exceptional overall impact and leadership in recycling and sustainability initiatives.