After COVID-related delays, works have finally begun to transform the former Summer Hill council depot into a new reuse and recycling hub which will be home to the Bower Reuse and Repair Centre and the Green Living Centre.
The idea to transform the unused depot on Prospect Road into a sustainability hub was announced in September of 2020, however, at the time the site was being used by NSW Health as a COVID-19 testing clinic - it was the first drive-through testing clinic set up in NSW. Now, the $1.4 million project to make the space suitable for new tenants is underway and expected to be completed in December.
"We are determined to be a national leader in sustainability and this reuse centre will help us to make it happen," said Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne.
"The people of the Inner West are committed to building a truly sustainable community - we are providing the infrastructure to help our community to get the job done."
"We are determined to be a national leader in sustainability."- Mayor Darcy Byrne
Initial works involve improving on-site accessibility and parking, upgrading the buildings and amenities to make them fit for the new tenants and removing contaminated materials.
The need for a new home for the Bower - which has been located at the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville for more than 20 years - came about when the organisation was evicted from Addison Road for breach of its lease in 2018. The community centre's chief executive, Rosanna Barbero, said the Bower had ignored requests to comply with building regulations.
The community rallied behind the Bower, with almost 24,000 people signing a Change.org petition to save it. The Bower was subsequently able to stay in Addison Road, but had to look for a new home. Initially, council planned for Reverse Garbage - which also had leasing issues at Addison Road - to move into the depot. However, delays meant Reverse Garbage sought out its own building in south Marrickville.
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The council's Green Living Centre, a sustainability initiative that began as the Watershed in Newtown in 2003, has also had issues securing a permanent home since their Newtown shopfront was closed in December 2017.
Applicants seeking to occupy the space initially allotted to Reverse Garbage include The Village Project, which hopes to set up a collection point for tricky waste like textiles, and a shop selling products made from collected waste.
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