From day one of his volunteering role, Noel’s passion for the environment and recycling has been infectious.
“In the short time he has been volunteering with the Op Shop team in Bendigo, Noel has educated teams of volunteers on recycling practices, significantly reducing the amount of money spent on rubbish removal,” says Op Shop Coordinator, Mary-Anne Toner.
“Before Noel started volunteering, the removal of rubbish and unsellable goods was costing the organisation over $7000 a year.
“Today the bill is $0 for items that can be recycled, which in turn means more funds are provided to people who are experiencing crisis in the Bendigo region.”
Noel takes unsellable items to repurpose, restore or on-sell as scrap metal, ensuring they don’t end up in landfill.
Noel has not only saved Uniting thousands of dollars, he turns what used to be rubbish into a profit.
Noel saves all kinds of items from landfill, like stripping mattresses so the springs can be recycled.
His passion comes from over two decades of working in the recycling industry.
“I made a career out of recycling goods and I’m glad I’ve been able to continue that in my volunteering role,” says Noel.
“I enjoy (recycling) and it’s good to know the broader community benefits from the savings.”
At nearly 80-years-old, Noel shows no signs of slowing down.
Noel continues to visit the Op Shops at least four times a week and cleans up anything that he believes can be recycled.