An e-waste recycling centre on Brookfield Road, Kenmore Hills, will have to make do with the little space they have now or find a new home, after the Council decided to make their office and storage space available “to all in the community” through a booking system.
The Brisbane City Council has recently terminated eWaste Connection Ltd’s tenancy on Building 1 after Churches of Christ surrendered the lease on the premises, leaving the group with no choice but to crowd into their small workshop. Council said that the decision was to “ensure equitable access to community space.”
“Heart breaking news tonight with Brisbane City Council advising that they are evicting us permanently from a building we have operated from for past few years,” eWaste Connection Ltd’s social media post said.
“We have been seeking long term use of this area for some time. This decision is incredibly disappointing and distressing for us. (we still have access to our workshop space for now but very strapped for space).”
Green Candidate for Pullenvale ward – Charles Druckmann likewise expressed his disappointment regarding the Council’s decision to “strip EWaste of a building space.” He suggested for the council to “build and provide a new community center in the area.”
Mr Druckmann’s sentiment was also echoed by members of the community with some contributing their suggestions:
“Someone must have a big shed somewhere they aren’t using? Or know of one in the 4069 area? If BCC can’t get them a home, we need to spread the word until someone can house this phenomenal charity and processor of all the old tech stuff we toss.” – Sheila Levine Come
“I think it would be great to utilise some of the schools locally and have ewaste part of education and generation gap working alongside each other.” – Paul John Brown
“Rang Brisbane City Council on 34038888 and asked to speak to Community Facilities regarding Building 1 and 2 at 98 Brookfield Road and asked that eWaste Connection be given a licence with extended tenure to occupy both buildings. I also asked that they consider recommending that community groups use the library meeting rooms, school and church halls and reimburse the school or church for the cost rather than building a whole new community building which would be disused for most of the time.” – Maggie King
Pullenvale Ward councillor responds
In her response, Councillor Kate Richards clarified that “no eviction” has been issued to current tenants eWaste Connection Ltd, Kenmore Bridge Club, or Shed West. She said that BCC issued a Community Facility Tender, which was open to any interested party including eWaste Connection Ltd, for the unleased spaces at 98 Brookfield Road, Kenmore Hills: Buildings 1,2, 3, site amenities inclusive of separate office space.
“Outcome is, eWaste Connection Ltd will remain under a new license with extended tenure to occupy in accordance with any State Government requirements as land owner and able to book Building 1 when needed,” Councillor Kate Richards said.
“No cost to eWaste Connection Ltd for upkeep, cleaning, and maintenance for Building 1 will support Monique Lowndes and her team being a not-for-profit organisation. With a booking system for Building 1, eWaste Connection Ltd can book when their specific need arises for when students are at eWaste’s premise.”
About eWaste Connection Ltd
eWaste Connection Ltd was established by Chris and Monique Lowndes out of a need to find post-school options for their intellectually impaired son, Joshua. The family spent two weeks at Substation 33, a social enterprise located in Kingston that offers disadvantaged and special needs children employment opportunities through electronic waste recycling.
Inspired by their experience, Chris and Monique decided to put up their own e-waste recycling operation at Brookfield to provide post-school opportunities to other young adults and children with a disability.
Since it opened about three years ago, eWaste Connection Ltd has enjoyed the support of the local community, not only through donations of e-waste but also through volunteer work so heavy machineries can be disassembled into smaller components that can be recycled.
In 2019, eWaste Connection received $2,000 worth of funding from Kenmore Rotary to go towards purchasing tools and urgently needed equipment.