September 6, 2011: The CameraRecycle Australia voluntary camera recycling program has picked up momentum following publicity in Photo Counter in July, picking up around 20 new members and engaging in new community initiatives.
There are now 90 stores around Australia set up as ‘Recycle Points’ allowing consumers to bring their old, unwanted and broken cameras into their stores and simply deposit them in a recycle box. Once full, this box is returned to Camera Recycle Australia for reuse and recycling.
Around half the participating stores are in Victoria, with NSW, Queensland and WA in particular lagging behind in the number of camera ‘recycle points’.
PMA recently renewed its support for the program, and will be encouraging its members to participate via PMA Newsline.
‘PMA encourages all retailers and suppliers to support this program,’ said Peter Rose, executive director, PMA Australia. ‘Recycling as we all know, is not only responsible but proves to our customers that we really are concerned about the environment.
‘From a commercial perspective the CameraRecycle program needs wide industry support to make the program cost effective.The phone industry has promoted its recycling program extensively – it is now our industry’s turn to do the same!’
‘The CameraRecycle Australia initiative allows us to prevent cameras, batteries and accessories ending up in landfill where they can cause pollution by slowly breaking down and leaking chemicals into the surrounding soil. By recycling them, you protect the environment and assist manage the environmental impacts in a socially responsible manner,’ said Tim Gledhill, managing director, CameraRecycle Australia (pictured above right).
‘We want to contribute to the bigger outcome, and get specialty photographic stores involvement Australia wide, after all it’s not our future we have to worry about, it’s all those that follow in our footsteps.’
Supporting local comunities
Not all cameras are recycled; some that require minor repairs or basic maintenance have been used to help promote photography to those in need. Recently this included the donation of a number of cameras to the City of Port Phillip to allow a local photographer to host a series of free photography night walks around the City of Port Phillip in Victoria. The two-hour walks toured unique places and spaces of Port Phillip where attendees could photograph the local icons.
‘We wanted as many people as possible to be involved and we didn’t want the expense of camera equipment to prevent people from joining the tour. Gratefully, Camera Recycle Australia have provided us with loan digital cameras, so no one need miss out,’ said City of Port Phillip Mayor, Rachel Powning
Brimbank City Council in Melbourne’s west is conducting a similar community photography walk on Friday October 14, with loaned cameras from the CameraRecycle program.
‘It’s good for the community, helps promote photography and is great for the environment,’ said Mr Gledhill.
‘Free’ publicity, free app!
It costs nothing for retailers to become involved. They simply register to become a ‘Recycle Point’ and receive a full complimentary package of materials including recycle boxes, pre-paid mailing stickers, posters and Frequently Asked Question information sheets to assist and inform all staff in-store about the recycling initiative.
Stores can also benefit from free publicity in their local community by raising the awareness of their store as a CameraRecycle Australia Recycle Point. Scott Allison, Bundaberg Camera House, recently scored a story in the local Bundaberg NewsMail.
‘…We are encouraging people to clean up their homes, dig out these old cameras from their drawers and bring them to us for recycling,’ Mr Allison told the NewsMail.
Tim Gledhill has flagged a new CameraRecycle initiative – a soon-to-be-released ‘recycling app’ for Windows Phone 7 as a free download. To be called ‘WasteNot’ this will be built on the National Waste Management Database to provide users with information on the closest CameraRecycle Recycle Point, thus helping drive people to participants stores.