Sam's spares leads the way at WasteSorted Awards

Published on:
Wednesday, 8 November, 2023

19-year-old City of Canning resident Sam Thomas was recently awarded the ‘Waste Champion of the Year Award’ for his business ‘Sam’s Spares.’ 

Sam, who is autistic and has Tourette’s syndrome, saves unwanted e-waste from landfill, and repairs and rebuilds electronics for distribution to a network of not-for-profits, charities, community organisations and schools.

The annual WasteSorted Awards were held in September, aimed at recognising outstanding achievements and efforts working towards a low waste and circular economy future for Western Australia. 

This year, there were 37 finalists across 10 categories, from individuals, businesses, government, schools, community organisations and not for profits.

“I can’t thank the City of Canning enough for their support in the early days of my organisation, I look forward to continuing our relationship and providing a new lease on life for obsolete technology, says Sam.

“I have the awesome job of being able to do what I love every day - combining my passion with service. I am motivated to work even harder to create positive change in our community.”
City of Canning Mayor Patrick Hall said he was pleased to see the reuse of e-waste within the community.

Canning has been in partnership with Sam’s Spares since July 2022 and provides a collection point for the business at the City’s Ranford Road Resource Recovery and Waste Transfer Station in Canning Vale.

Since then, the City has diverted 11% of the e-waste collected from the Waste Transfer Station and in the City’s recycling hubs to reuse via Sam’s Spares.

“It’s great to see community members, like Sam, leading the way in creating a more sustainable future by giving these items a second life," Mayor Hall said.

Other award recipients on the night included the City of Fremantle, Shire of Northam, City of Canning, and the highly commended Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council, and Town of East Fremantle.

The City of Fremantle won the Metropolitan Local Government Award for the Fremantle Recycling Centre, which includes a household hazardous waste facility, reuse shop and Containers for Change refund point. 

The small site showcases the range of waste services that a Local Government can provide in one location and how to make it easy and convenient for the community to reuse and recover material. 

Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council were also highly commended, in the Metropolitan Local Government category.

The Non-Metropolitan Local Government category winner was the Shire of Northam, for their regional waste management sites which service many communities across the wheatbelt and effectively recycles as much of the material collected as possible.  

The City of Canning took home the Community Engagement Award, for their engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities.  This engagement has included the City’s Cultural Ambassadors Program, which empowers Ambassadors to become waste champions in their community and is a key link between CaLD residents and the City’s Waste Team.  The Town of East Fremantle was also highly commended in this category.

Congratulations to all recognised for their contributions towards a low waste and circular economy future for Western Australia. 

And congratulations to Sam.

Read more in the September/October 2023 Edition of Western Councillor

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