Challenge's Backtrack program rests on Tamworth council meeting

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Challenge Community Services is on target to throw $1 million annually towards an innovative troubled youth program based on Armidale’s highly successful Backtrack model.

Challenge has already won a tender to operate a buyback centre in Taminda, the centrepiece of the youth program; however, CEO Barry Murphy needs Tamworth Regional Council to come to the table on three conditions, at a meeting on Thursday night, in order for the program to go ahead.

The first point is that TRC will allow any item not sold at the buyback centre for three months back to the Waste Management Centre (WMC) at no cost, while the second point is for TRC to transport the items from the WMC to the Taminda centre.

While the buyback centre tender is for 10 years, Challenge have under three years left on the recycling tender, which will fund the program. 

With both intricately linked, Mr Murphy would like TRC to also guarantee that Challenge “will be the preferred recycler” into the future.

“Without the recycling, the Backtrack-style program can’t operate,” Mr Murphy said.

“I think council will agree, and I am really excited about the whole thing.

“I have my eye on a few locations in Taminda and just need the OK from council to go ahead.” 

The two-stage plan will see the buyback centre get up and running, before taking a number of troubled youths, predominantly boys, into the program.

Initially, based on industry modelling, the recycling centre was expecting to make $600,000 through the Container Deposit Scheme but, four months in, that estimate has shifted towards the million-dollar mark, which will all go towards the buyback centre and Backtrack-style program.

“Our numbers didn’t drop as much as we thought they would, although we are still expecting them to fall as more residents use the Return and Earn themselves,” Mr Murphy said.

“We budgeted for $600,000, and I am very comfortable about that.

“We want to say to people that, by continuing to throw cans and bottles in the recycling bin and by throwing out or taking items that could be used to the tip, they are sponsoring both Backtrack and the buyback centre.”

Story by the Northern Daily Leader, 20 June 2018. 

Author: Challenge Community Services

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About Challenge Community Services

60 years ago we were a small band of parents and friends seeking support services for our children with disabilities. Today, Challenge has grown to be one of the largest community support services in New South Wales. We provide support to over 2500 people from Albury to Lismore, Sydney, Dubbo, Tamworth and beyond. With over 600 staff, 85 of which have a disability, we strive to comply with and exceed all standards required under State and Federal Acts.
In the spirit of Reconciliation, Challenge Community Services acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country, and their connection to land, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures and customs, and to Elders both past and present.
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