Vinnies stores in Victoria to start selling second-hand electrical goods and white goods

A new program being rolled out at Vinnies stores in Victoria is expected to give 100,000 electrical appliances a second life.

St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria has trained 200 Green Sparks volunteers to test and label electrical appliances that were once destined for landfill.

The items would then be resold via the association’s shops.

The initiative will be rolled out to more than 100 Vinnies stores and comes after Victoria’s 2019 ban on e-waste from landfills.

E-waste has been found to grow up to three times faster than general municipal waste in Australia.

The category includes any device with an outlet, battery, or power cord, including televisions, computers, cell phones, kitchen appliances, and household appliances.

Vinnies’ initiative was aided by a $250,000 grant from the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund.(Provided: Saint Vincent de Paul Society)

“We are actually diverting 100,000 electrical appliances for reuse right here in Victoria,” said Jeff Antcliff, executive general manager of business services at Vinnies Victoria.

“On top of that, there are also 100 tonnes that we send for recycling that are also diverted from landfill.

The project has been propelled with the help of a $250,000 grant from the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund, which is provided by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the state government.

A group of volunteers stand smiling outside a Vinnies store
All electrical product donations should still work.(Provided: Saint Vincent de Paul Society)

Reuse helping wallet

Mr Antcliff said the scheme was being rolled out at a time when more people were looking for cheaper electrical product options given the inflationary economic environment.

“The cost of living pressures are definitely there,” he said.

“We are seeing more and more people reaching out to Vinnies and other charities across Victoria.

“It’s a great opportunity for two things: it creates a circular economy, and it’s great if we can get an item that’s not just used once, but has a second life and a third life. .”

Shelves lined with electrical products in a store
A display of electrical products in a Vinnies store in Mentone.(Provided: Saint Vincent de Paul Society)

Vinnies stores have now started accepting electrical items, but have advised that donations must be of functional quality

“With every donation, make sure it’s good enough to give to your family, because then it’s good enough to give to Vinnies,” Mr Antcliff said.

All proceeds from the sale of recycled electronics will support St Vincent de Paul Victoria’s frontline support services for those in need.

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