By Jen Gourley
Gutted. That’s how Francis Moretti and Barry Tompkins felt when they arrived at the Callide Valley Lions Club’s Glass and Aluminium Recycling Facility this morning.
Pulling up to unload some recyclables they had collected, they discovered shattered and broken bottles and slivers and shards of glass strewn everywhere. Several barrels of collected glass had been tipped over and smashed, leaving the jagged wreckage for the hardworking volunteers to clean up.
“It’s a mess,” said a frustrated Francis. “We’ll be here for hours. We’ve lost $150 worth of stuff, plus the time to clean it all up.”
Francis, a member of the local Lions Club, and fellow volunteer Barry, wearing boots and gloves for protection, had already picked up two barrels’ full of broken glass by 9am but knew it would take the rest of their morning to finish cleaning up.
“All in all, there were six drums tipped off the ramp,” Francis said. “And our mentality is, what sort of an experience do you get out of breaking glass and making a mess?”
The Lions Club is a service club whose members spend their free time volunteering for the benefit of the local and wider community. The Lions’ glass and aluminium recycling facility, located near the Council workshop on State Farm Road, was established so all funds raised from recycling these materials could go towards helping individuals, community groups, and our kindergartens and schools. The work involved with the recycling project is done voluntarily and in their free time.
So, to find all their hard work lying smashed on the ground was devastating, especially as this type of vandalism has occurred at the facility on two other occasions in the past two years.
“We don’t mind doing it once for nothing,” Barry said. “We don’t want to do it three times for nothing.”
Francis said security cameras would be going up at the facility in the near future.
“It’s going to be very soon because after three times, mate, we’re just about at wit’s end,” he said.
He suggested to parents that if their children were coming home with cuts from broken glass, it could possibly have happened at the recycling facility.
Callide Valley Lions Club President Col Neville was disappointed when he heard the facility had been struck by senseless vandalism again.
“It’s ridiculous to think that it’s adults. I hope it’s not adults,” he said. “But if it’s kids, well, we all know the problems we have with the kids, don’t we? It probably does come back to parents not knowing where their kids are at night or whatever, who would know. We can’t do much about that except to appeal to the public that if they know anything or hear anything to please let us know.
“We are all volunteers and we donate this money back into the community and we just don’t need these sorts of people coming around and making it (harder for us).”