Toowong Recycling Hero Turns Trash into Treasure for a Cause

Toowong Recycling Hero Turns Trash into Treasure for a Cause
Nick and Peter | Photo Credit: supplied

Nicholas Whiting was running a recycling program in Paddington whilst working at a bottle shop in Paddington Central. When their lease was not renewed, he almost lost his job which added pressure on his recycling program. Soon enough, they were able to find a new space in Toowong where the business as well as his initiative is now running smoothly.


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The Gap resident Nicholas works at Embassy Cellars Toowong and currently runs a recycling program where he is able to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders.

His journey, however, began in May 2021 when he was employed at Spiros Bottle Shop in Paddington. He was at the time in pursuit of his BP Award, the pinnacle of recognition of the Rover section of scouting, and he was searching for a community development project.

It was then that he noticed the absence of recycling bins at Paddington Central, except for a lone cardboard bin. He thought that this oversight meant the Spiros Bottle Shop’s recyclables, including bottles and cans, were ending up in the garbage.

 Toowong Recycling Hero Turns Trash into Treasure for a Cause

Photo Credit: supplied

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With the help of his manager, Stuart, he started collecting wine bottles and other recyclables at their shop, and utilising the containers for change to raise funds from the bottles and cans he collected.

Nicholas also reached out to Paddington councillor, Peter Matic, and his team, who generously donated a recycling bin and several large recycling bags. He also attempted to secure a spot for the bin at Paddington Central but was unsuccessful.

Photo Credit: supplied

He, however, was able to find a new home for the recycling bin at the Brisbane Tramway Museum in Ferny Grove. The bin still sits there to this day and continues to serve the local community.


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Nicholas did earn his BP Award, but his passion and commitment to the cause didn’t wane, even after the Spiros Paddington closed in late 2022. When Mr Spero Conias, the owner of Spiros Paddington, decided to open Embassy Cellars Toowong, Nicholas found a fresh opportunity to collect containers and promote sustainable practices within his workplace.

 Toowong Recycling Hero Turns Trash into Treasure for a Cause

Photo Credit: supplied

Since 2021, Nicholas has managed to raise an impressive $828.50 for Doctors Without Border through his recycling initiative that not only benefits the environment but also supports a noble cause.

His recycling program has indeed been successful, but he said that he owes much of its success to the people that he works with at Embassy Cellars Toowong, particularly his manager, Stuart, who has been supporting his initiative since day one.

His recycling initiatives and charitable work serve as an inspiration and testament to positive change that an individual could make with determination and passion coupled with support from the community.

Published 22-September-2023