How a businessman has grown his recycling shop tenfold
ONE Ipswich businessman has witnessed business growth explode as international recycling faces an uncertain future.
In 2016, Robert McKenzie established Ipswich Metal Recycling with nothing but an old dual-cab ute and a trolley purchased from the tip.
Two-and-a-half years later, Mr McKenzie has grown the business tenfold and now employs two casual workers.
Ipswich Metal Recycling collects scrap radiators, copper and metal from across the region and into Brisbane.
Confidence in the city's commercial environment led Mr McKenzie to invest $17,000 in two new machines that will increase productivity and revenue.
"To stay competitive you need to invest in your business," he said.
"Me investing machinery in the business is showing that I'm confident things are going well locally.
"I generally spend 99 per cent of our private or the businesses money in Ipswich if we can."
Mr McKenzie has sought advice from business coaches, including Michael Crowley from the Ipswich Business Centre, to grow his operation.
He credits the growth to hard work - often working 80 hours each week to keep things going.
"We're trying to offer a competitive price point for private people and local businesses to bring in their scrap metal and recycle while offering employment to local Ipswich people," he said.
The self-proclaimed conservationist has a passion for recycling and a love of his employees, Marcus and Shaun.
"It's good to see guys like that blossom who have had some difficulty previously," he said.
"It makes me feel good about myself and what I'm doing that I can offer them employment."
The small business owner said many residents did not realise their scrap metal could be worth money.
"A lot of people are still unaware that you can get a few dollars from that," he said.
Mr McKenzie hopes to build on the success of the business and one day own his own site.
Despite a tumultuous time for the city's kerbside recycling program, he said the industry was positive about the future in Ipswich.
"Everyone seems to be fairly busy at the moment and we're getting a good volume of material coming through to be recycled," he said.
"I'm very optimistic because there's a lot happening out here.
"I'm surprised houses are still so cheap."
He said the public should be more educated on what can go into recycling bins.
"It's disgusting to hear people are putting nappies in recycling."