Institute for Future Environments the university for the real world

Unlocking the value of rubbish at first QUT Waste Maker Day

23rd September 2019

From textiles to paper and plastics to e-waste, QUT’s first ever Waste Maker Day on 29 August offered attendees new and creative ways to think about the value that can be generated from waste.

Despite inclement weather, about 400 QUT students, staff and visitors attended the event at Gardens Point campus to enjoy talks and workshops and speak to circular economy entrepreneurs and pioneers.

Organised by QUT Entrepreneurship and supported by IFE, the event was inspired by the Maker Day format, which is designed to foster innovation, design thinking and creative problem solving through involvement in hands-on learning.

Waste Maker Day aimed to address both the craft and the science of making in the context of entrepreneurial opportunities in the circular economy. The event was also designed to raise awareness across the QUT community of waste issues and waste mitigation research and innovation.

Waste Maker Day attendees could learn how to upcycle old furniture, make and repair their own clothing and create jewellery from recycled plastic and rubber in the day’s workshop sessions.

At the IFE-supported Speakers Lounge, QUT researchers spoke about their waste-related research projects. Dr Ajay Pandey showcased a prototype of his intelligent auto-sorting rubbish bin, while Professor Leonie Barner and Dr Manuela Taboada spoke about reducing plastic waste and demonstrated their smartphone app designed to help people keep track of their plastic use.

Other speakers included Meriel Chamberlin from sustainable fashion startup Full Circle Fibres and Tony Sharp, founder of e-waste recycling and innovation social enterprise Substation 33.

IFE, QUT’s Science and Engineering and Creative Industries faculties, QUT Guild and QUT Sustainability staged display exhibits alongside organisations and ventures such as Brisbane City Council, Ministry of Handmade, Cleanaway, Ciclo, Raw Assembly and World’s Biggest Garage Sale.

Enjoy the photo gallery below:

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