The Ipswich businesses that are still recycling, even hair
A GROUP of Ipswich small business owners is leading its own recycling revolution, and they don't need a yellow bin to do it.
Businesswomen Cass Barrie and Shelley Gehrke aren't stopping at plastic bottles and tin cans, even collecting hair and used chemicals to transform into new uses. Diamond Cuts Hair and Makeup Studio at Brassall and Peak-A-Do Beauty Salon at Ipswich are pioneering the Sustainable Salons Australia recycling revolution in Ipswich.
Ms Barrie first introduced the initiative to the city at her salon, Diamond Cuts, late last year and Ms Gehrke followed suit, starting the program in her salon, Peak-A-Do Beauty, on Wednesday. It was the same day Ipswich City Council announced the city's recycling would go to landfill.
The Sustainable Salons Australia program recycles 95 per cent of the resources used for a hair cut or colour and diverts them away from landfill.
Proceeds gained from recycling metals are donated to not-for-profit community groups, plastic is turned into outdoor furniture and NBN caballing protection, left over chemicals are recycled into water and used in road works and construction and old tools are broken down and re-purposed.
Perhaps the most aggressive approach is with cut hair - it's collected and then turned into a special product that soaks up oil spills in the ocean while the best bits are turned into wigs.
Ms Gehrke said the program cost $2 a client - a cost the salon was absorbing, but the benefits were worth the outlay. She said staff collected two garbage bags full of hair every day.
"The response has been fantastic. I have been telling my clients about it for four months to get them used to the idea and they are all for it," she said.
She said she was calling on other businesses in Ipswich to get involved and help expand the program locally.
"It needs to happen, especially with everything else that is going on in Ipswich," Ms Gehrke said.
"The more people we can get involved the better. Ipswich has so much junk, we need to do something about it."
Ms Barrie first introduced the program because salon recycling bins were overflowing.
"I started to take the recycling home, we just had so many things that could be recycled instead of going into landfill," Ms Barrie said.
"It just makes things neater and easier. It's something I have always been passionate about."
Sustainable Salons Australia co-founder Paul Frasca said the concept started three years ago after a decade of planning with his partner Ewelina Soroko. He said the focus was on "people, the planet and profit" and the program employed people with disabilities in conjunction with the Endeavour Foundation.