Sharon finds treasure in the trash

Sept 2015 Sharon Trash Transformers

Sharon finds treasure in the trash

SEPTEMBER 2015 | Joanne Eisemann

TRASH TRANSFORMERS on the outskirts of Deloraine lives up to its name. As well as providing a thriving tip shop and landscaping supplies business, each year the operation saves over 6,000 tons of ‘rubbish’ from going into landfill.

Started in 1992, owner and manager Sharon Lunson has worked for the company since 1995.

In 1997, when the previous owners began waste consultancy work, she started to managing the enterprise, eventually purchasing it in 2003.

Sharon is dedicated to recycling and reusing what would otherwise end up in landfill and feels supported by the community in this, “the community really get behind this, the more you talk to them the more they will recycle things,” she shares.

Together with the Deloraine site, Trash Transformers also manages the tip at Westbury and the transfer station at Mole Creek. All the salvageable items from this other tip come to the Deloraine tip shop, which has patrons visiting from far and wide looking for a bargain.

The tip sites are set up to make it easy for people to recycle. There is a circuit for cars so people can stop to recycle at different points; be it plastic, glass, metal or paper, with the tip-face being the last stop. Sharon says that of the average 50 to 60 cars that visit the tip each day, 90% recycle.

The business also has a selection of gardening and landscaping supplies whereby customers can fill up their trailer or ute to take home.

The rubbish from weekly Council collections goes to the tip-face but another company handles kerb side recycling.

Sharon describes the landfill as a community asset, “the more stuff you can keep out of it, the longer the landfill is going to last. It’s better for the environment,” says Sharon.

She adds that most of her ten staff have their own ‘thing’ they like to collect. Hers is sixties’ style cupboards and she has “a verandah full of them.”

Trash Transformers must be a good place to work. Staff turnover is so low that they “are all getting old and decrepit,” laughs Sharon.

Keeping up with innovations in waste management is important to both Sharon and her husband, Tony Sullivan, who manages the landfill operations.

“We went over to the waste and recycling expo in Victoria last week. We are always looking for new stuff to recycle and keep out of the landfill,” Sharon explains.

Silage wrap is the most recent addition to the recycling repertoire; being recycled in George Town by Envorinex.

Waste oils are accepted at the tip sites and empty oil containers are picked up once every six months by VIP Packaging from the mainland.

The drumMUSTER program for clean farm chemical containers is at Deloraine the 1st Monday in the month or ring for appointment if you can’t make that day.

Glass is also separated into brown, green and clear. It is crushed onsite and sent to mainland Australia in 20-foot containers for making into new bottles.

Baled plastics are transported there too, where some are recycled and others go overseas for processing. Collected metals are shipped out of the country as well by a Tasmanian Steel recycler.

Trash Transformers applauds the Meander Valley community for their progression towards reuse and recycling of waste products.

 Mike Moores