At the Ordinary Meeting of Mareeba Shire Council on Wednesday, 19 January 2022 the Councillors endorsed a proposal to seek Expressions of Interest for the management and operation of the new Buy Back Shop in Mareeba. “The construction of the Buy Back Shop has commenced, and I am delighted that Councillors have approved the Expression of Interest process,” Mayor Angela Toppin explained. “We are seeking EOIs from commercial and not-for-profit operators to propose a financially sustainable model for our new Buy Back Shop.” Located at the Mareeba Resource Recovery Centre, which is part of the Mareeba Waste Facility on Vaughan Street in Mareeba, the Buy Back Shop represents another major step towards embedding the circular economy in Mareeba. “Waste management is changing. We no longer ‘dump rubbish’, waste is now recognised as a product that must be managed.” “While we aspire to reduce and even avoid waste, if these goals are not achievable then we, as a Council and as a community, must look to the circular economy for ways to recycle or reuse waste materials for as long as possible, at their highest value,” Mayor Toppin said.
It is expected that the Buy Back Shop will result in improved environmental, financial, social and educational outcomes for the community and it is predicted that the Buy Back Shop will operate at no net cost to Council. “This is the beauty of the EOI process. We are asking operators to ‘pitch us’ their best model. We are not imposing constraints on the operation, rather we are encouraging operators to be innovative and consider any value-adding proposals that will boost the sustainability of the operation and the benefits for the community.” Mareeba Shire Council is 3-years in to a 10-year waste strategy which identified that a Buy Back Shop would not only result in waste reduction and enhance reuse of waste products, but it would offset the cost increases associated with the State Waste Levy and the closure of the Mareeba Landfill.
Mayor Toppin also anticipates positive employment outcomes to be achieved. “Not only are jobs created during the construction phase, but the new enterprise will certainly result in employment opportunities for members of our community.” Submissions from commercial and not-for-profit operators are invited, with full details to be made available on Council’s website.
Submissions will be assessed before a formal tender process is undertaken.