Adult Interchange Outer East participant, Mark, has been having a blast crushing cans utilising the can crusher thingamajig attached to the IOE Yose Street office for years. The cacophony of aluminium being crushed intermingled with peals of laughter have always been a highlight of supporting Mark.

In the past six months Mark’s can crushing levelled up to incorporating transporting the cans to a metal recycling business in Bayswater. On our first visit to Melbourne Copper Scraps, I introduced Mark and explained that we are from IOE, what we do and our goal of donating the money from Mark’s recycling efforts to The Royal Children’s Hospital.

The whole of the Hilux tray was filled with crushed cans! They came in at 17kg and translated into about $15. The owner walked away then came back to give Mark $50! A tad gobsmacked I asked,


“We would like to donate to your organisation!”

Last Wednesday Mark and I returned to recycle more cans and the conversation incorporated how Mark had spent the first six months of his life in RCH. The person assisting us had asked, “There is not much money in recycling cans – why bother?”

I communicated with prompts from Mark that it was fun for him and also brought him a sense of purpose and joy that he was doing a good thing. Melbourne Copper Scraps have graciously continued to accept Mark’s cans while donating another $50 directly to IOE!

Contact Recycling Continues

We rely on aluminium cans being provided to us by staff and some other families I support. The COVID-19 restrictions have put a bit of a strain on supply. I have continued to pick up used cans inside plastic bags which families have left outside their homes for collection. They can leave them either on the porch or in the front yard for ongoing contactless recycling … WIN WIN!

By Donna-Jane, IOE Support Worker