RECYCLE: Joel Brown, pictured with Leah Patterson from Cut That Out Hair Design at Woombye, has been collecting hair foils from salons for recycling. Picture: Warren Lynam
RECYCLE: Joel Brown, pictured with Leah Patterson from Cut That Out Hair Design at Woombye, has been collecting hair foils from salons for recycling. Picture: Warren Lynam

Disabled man’s mission to cut down beauty industry’s impact

A 31-YEAR-OLD intellectually disabled man has found his purpose after creating a business that is saving the environment one hairdressing salon at a time.

After realising aluminium foil's contribution to landfill, JB Industries CEO Joel Brown started collecting and recycling used foil from hairdressing salons at the beginning of this year.

Doing his rounds every Monday Mr Brown said he loved his new job.

"It's wonderful, I can't do some things, but I can recycle," he said.

"My favourite thing is making the deliveries and I love chatting to people."

Mr Brown's mother, Robyn Brown, who originally saw the idea on TV, said it was a great way to develop Mr Brown's skill set.

"This is something that could stretch him … even though he has a disability he is the same as all of us, you can learn," she said.

"If you're stretched you grow so we thought this would be something to encourage him to grow and learn and develop independent skills and social skills and he is really enjoying it.

"He is very proud of it, and his shirt and his business name and having his own little business with a lot of support from David (carer).

"He wants me to take him around and do some deliveries on his days off."

The business now services four salons from Yandina to Palmwoods, including Woombye's Cut That Out Hair Design.

Hairdresser Leah Patterson said recycling the large amounts of foil used in the Woombye salon was a great idea.

"It's really good otherwise you are just tossing it away and it's becoming landfill," Ms Patterson said.

"Everyone needs to be more aware of the things you can recycle now and the things that can be done to get it there because it's pretty simple really."

Ms Patterson said having Mr Brown in the salon every week was a highlight.

"It's always nice to see him. He is very chirpy and he loves to give cuddles," she said.

"We were super excited when they said Joel was going to be collecting foils."

JB Industries, which is looking for more salons to add to its books, leaves a bin at each salon which is emptied weekly.

Mr Brown said once collected the foil was dropped at the metal recycling plant in Kunda Park which turns the waste into "tin cans and bottles".