It started from our humble beginning, the idea to initiate financial sustainable for our regional Buddhist temple and environmentally sustainable. It is to apply social entrepreneurship strategy in a project that would work for us here in Albury. One key strategy of social entrepreneurship is the ‘not limited to resource available on hand’. It helps us to have ‘freedom to dream’.
It is the vision of the founder of the Good Friends Albury Inc. who has an engineering background. He analysed that Australia has become a consuming country. Indicating from more and more Australia manufacture were closed and relocating overseas. In the world market, there are far more advantage factors in some other countries to do mass production than Australia. That is the whole picture of Australia. Then we look at Albury, we are 300 km from Melbourne the closest capital city.
We are looking into something that can be an opportunity for the Good Friends Albury Inc. to make a different and certainly, it will not be manufacturing something. Manufactured products mean they are 100% made. Once they have been used over times they will stop working and what most people do with them is throw them away. Most of the products that stop working could mean 5% of the products is malfunction. Will it be possible that we can replace that 5% to return the products back to 100% working condition or would it be good if we can provide this 5% parts available for others to make their machines back to work again.
The concept sounds simple. Aren’t there anybody else have already done this? It could be, the challenge is how to manage it in an effective way to make it feasible. The auto car parts from car yards is one example in the same concept that is commercially possible. They have been in business for a long time. In the past four years we have tried this concept with ride-on mower, washing machine and clothes dryer.
Last year we stopped the ride-on mower line due to the limited numbers of broken mower we could get and the labour intensive. Washing machine and clothes dryer become main products that we do as they are common appliances in every household, so we always find enough supply for our process.
The factors that allow the association to make this happen are knowledge, workforce (volunteers), place, and equipment. We thank many who offer to train our volunteers, sharing their knowledge, spend time and energy to make this happened. Also thank to donors who give their ‘not working’ appliances to us. These become our inspiration to keep this project going.
Our online store last year sold more than 300 parts, so we assume that it helps return about 300 appliances back to work rather than wasting them.
Let’s simply imagine 300 washing machines
It will take 150 sqm to put them next to each other.
It weights 18,000 kg. (60kg each)
It worth $90,000 ($300 each) recovery value
Once we look back to this amazing info that have been done by only a small team it does make some positive contribution to the society, economic and environment.