Mundaring Men’s Shed declares war on waste

 L-R: Barry Crossley (President), Ken Waters and John Martin at the Mundaring Community Men's Shed, showing off their Plastic Recycling Machine.
L-R: Barry Crossley (President), Ken Waters and John Martin at the Mundaring Community Men's Shed, showing off their Plastic Recycling Machine.

A VISIONARY project in the war on waste is bridging the generation gap and bringing communities together to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Multi-skilled seniors at Mundaring Men’s Shed have built a motorised shredding machine for children to recycle plastic bottles and lids at Chidlow Primary School.

They handcrafted the machine largely from spare parts to shred the plastic into tiny chips to be melted and moulded for a multitude of uses.

Mechanical engineer Jamie Dadd said the machine was the first of four prototypes in a project designed to clean up the environment and recreate from waste.

He has two children at the school and said phase two of the plan is to operate a plastic recycling centre in Chidlow.

“It’s all for the kids, cleaning up the community and turning it into something positive because the children do a lot recycling but don’t see what happens to it,” he said.

“Those guys at Mundaring Men’s Shed have done a fantastic job and sourced second-hand parts to build the first machine.”

The second machine will involve building a hand-operated injection moulding machine to melt and mould the plastic chips into gold, silver and bronze medallions.

“The kids have been researching how to make the machine and I will make it. If all goes to plan, they will get to make their own medals next year,” he said.

“All the machines will be made from recycled parts and some have been sourced from a bush track. I’ve already used parts from an old washing machine dumped off a little windy track opposite the kids motocross area in Chidlow.”

A compression moulder will be built from an old oven to make bigger items from plastic including school trophies, along with plans to make letterboxes for the community.

To complete phase one of the project, a plastic extruder suitable to receive all plastics, including plastic bags, will be built to make plastic string for use as printer wire in 3D printers.

Chidlow sustainable schools coordinator Julie Frantom said the project was part of a sustainable schools program to reduce landfill.

The Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council awarded the school a $4000 Waste Wise grant towards phase one of the project.

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