The Salamander Bay Recycling Centre welcomed a big new addition to its team last week, thanks to a grant from the NSW state government.
Last year the centre received $25,000 as part of the state government’s community building partnerships, and last Thursday the centre was able to put that money to use when general manager Gerard McClafferty picked up a brand new Hino 616 tipper truck.
“The truck we’ve got now is well and truly on its last legs, it’s 20 years old and clocked 417,000 kilometres so it’s well beyond its use-by date,” Mr McClafferty said.
“We look like we mean business now, the old truck looked like it’d gone to the moon and back, which distance wise it probably has.”
It is not just about looks though. The centre also contributed $20,000 of its own money to buy the new truck, and Mr McClafferty believes it will mean big improvements.
“It’s going to open us right up to make a difference to more people, and be more effective,” he said.
“We’ve been pretty much on the cusp of capacity but this allows us to branch into new areas we’ve previously unexplored.
“I would say our pick-up and delivery capacity has grown well over 50 per cent.”
Practically, he said it meant options like charging to dispose non-recyclable items for residents was now on the table.
It has been a big year so far for the non-profit recycling centre, which donated $11,000 to the Nelson Bay polyclinic for a new bus shelter outside of the hospital earlier in the year.