Lids for Kids helps disabled children

LIDS FOR KIDS: Ron King and Annette Dunn at Endeavour Industries with just a sample of some of the lids that have been donated so far for this great cause. INSET: A young boy from India who has benefited from the program. Photo: DAVID COLE.
LIDS FOR KIDS: Ron King and Annette Dunn at Endeavour Industries with just a sample of some of the lids that have been donated so far for this great cause. INSET: A young boy from India who has benefited from the program. Photo: DAVID COLE.

Don't throw away those plastic lids. They can be recycled to make prosthetic limbs for disabled children using 3D printing.

Next time you are planning to throw your bottle cap away, think twice as it can be used to make prosthetics for children using 3D technology.

Endeavor Industries has joined the initiative and set up two wheelie bins at the Sinclair St Resource Recovery Centre where people can deposit their lids.

"This week we collected more than 30,000 lids," Annette Dunn, site manager said.

"Previously all those lids were going into landfill. Now people can take the lids off their bottles and put them into a bucket at home before dropping off here. The bottles can still go into their kerbside recycling bins," she added.

Sonya White, from Endeavour Industries Goulburn, thinks that it is a brilliant idea.

"It provides us with a solution while helping another disabled group. In February, we issued a recycling bulletin pointing out that lids should be removed from plastic bottles as they couldn't be recycled. Now our staff and supported employees are removing lids because they know that it is a way they can help other disabled people," she said.

The lids are sorted and then fed into a 3D printer to make the mobility aids.

The idea comes from Envision Hands, a non-for-profit organisation based at Wheelers Hill in Victoria, which shreds low and high density (Numbers 2 and 4) bottle lids and turns them into new prosthetic limbs using 3D printing.

Lids 4 Kids is organising the collection of bottle lids in Goulburn for Envision Hands.

"We currently have approximately 47 places around Goulburn as drop off points and this is growing daily," Nicole Sutherland from Lids 4 Kids Goulburn said.

Location for Lids 4 Kids containers include Anglicare Homelessness, Storage King, Mulwaree Library, Carlton Hotel, Essential Employment and Training, Hume Conservatorium, The Crescent School and Academy Early Learning.

Nicole and Brad Sutherland, who established Lids 4 Kids in Goulburn, collect the buckets of lids from various sites, which is then shipped to organiser Tim Miller in Canberra.

"We had set a target of 5,000 lids week but having surpassed it we are reluctant to set a target because the more we collect the better. Both Brad and I are thankful for the support from Goulburn and surrounding community," Mrs Sutherland said.

Tim then transports the lids to Envision Hands' warehouse in Melbourne, where they are cleaned and organised into colours. Next, they are shredded and then fed through an extruder, which produces an ink-like filament.

That filament is then used in conjunction with 3D software to print the mobility aids.