Recycling guru finds outlets for waste products

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian

Geraldton recycling boss Mike Barker has managed to find buyers for his processed rubbish, helping to ease concerns his Webberton facility would shut at the end of the year.

Earlier this year, the 47-year-old said if he failed to monetise the waste he was collecting, tonnes of rubbish would be redirected to Meru landfill.

Mr Barker said since then, more people had shown interest in recycling, including a Geraldton concrete maker who wants to use ground glass and shredded plastic as concrete aggregate to make the mixture stronger.

A Dongara family has also inquired about paving their house floors with exposed glass chip concrete.

Mr Barker, who launched popular dumping site Midwest E-Waste just over a year ago, recently procured a $3500 plastic shredder to help his team crush waste to commercial standards.

He intends to set up a stall featuring multicoloured concrete slabs at the Railway Markets in Geraldton to try to generate further interest among homeowners.

The entrepreneur is in the process of applying to become a collection point for Containers for Change, a program under which residents will get a 10¢ refund for each eligible container they dump at a collection point.

Mr Barker would also like to see the City of Greater Geraldton incorporate his product into footpath installations.

“It would be good of them to get behind a local business,” he said.

Midwest E-Waste is run by volunteers from the community, including school groups, which regularly visit to help.

City of Greater Geraldton acting chief executive Chris Lee said the City used local concrete and was happy for Mr Barker to contact local suppliers and investigate opportunities.

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