Stationery Aid, based in Bunya, has secured a place among the top contenders for the esteemed 2023 WasteSMART People’s Choice Award, with residents rallying behind their local environmental champion in the voting process.
The WasteSMART People’s Choice Award is a prestigious recognition that honours individuals, community groups, and businesses for their dedication to waste-smart activities.
The award comes with a $350 prize, celebrating those who tirelessly work towards diverting various waste types from landfills, including food, clothing, textiles, and medical waste.
Stationery Aid has made remarkable strides in diverting used and unused school stationery and office supplies from landfills and giving them new life and use locally and abroad.
With the support of over 80 volunteers, they sort, clean, and renew these items, which are then distributed to vulnerable and disadvantaged school students in Brisbane and across Queensland. Any supplies that cannot be used are donated to other charities that provide educational resources to children overseas.
In addition to these efforts, Stationery Aid also runs a repurposing program, turning old pencils into earrings, paper into wastepaper bins, and reusable supermarket bags into pencil cases. Over the past 2.5 years, the charity has diverted approximately 46,000 litres of school stationery waste from landfills, equivalent to a 7×6 metre pool. Their work has benefited approximately 900 disadvantaged school students, mainly in Brisbane, by providing them with full yearly booklist and stationery packs.
Stationery Aid was founded in 2020 by Alison and Jan Schutt, who recognised the need to collect excess school stationery to prevent it from going to landfills. Their mission expanded to help students and families facing hardship, and they established partnerships with local community groups, schools, and volunteers to make Stationery Aid a reality.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner lauded the WasteSMART Awards as a means to encourage all residents to embrace sustainable practices. He also highlighted the various initiatives undertaken by the city to promote sustainability, including food waste recycling trials, compost and worm farm rebates, and reduced green waste disposal costs.
Public voting for the WasteSMART People’s Choice Award opened on Tuesday, 3 October, and will remain open until Monday, 16 October. Residents are encouraged to visit the WasteSMART Awards website to learn more about the 2023 finalists and cast their votes.
The WasteSMART Awards, managed by the Brisbane Sustainability Agency on behalf of the Brisbane City Council, are proudly sponsored by Containers for Change Queensland, Cleanaway, and The University of Queensland. A ceremony announcing the winners in the 12 WasteSMART Award categories, with a combined prize pool of over $4000, is scheduled to be held at Brisbane City Hall in November.
For more information about the awards and to cast your vote, visit WasteSMART Awards.