Pump House Hair is blazing a trail for sustainable small businesses as the first hairdresser in Launceston to join an international program aimed at reducing waste in salons.
The East Launceston hairdresser was now recycling and repurposing everything from old razor blades to human hair, as part of international program Sustainable Salons - something the business had waited five years to take part in.
Owner Tyneke Wisby said she was unable to participate previously because the infrastructure required did not exist.
"We didn't have a recycling depot here in Tasmania, even in Hobart or anything that would be suitable," she said.
Ms Wisby explained the issue was resolved when the program implemented a bag and courier system that allowed her to stockpile recycling and send it to Victoria.
"So a courier picks up the bags, they are huge big canvas bags, and we fill them with individual bags because we separate all of our waste," she said. "When they are full we jump online, tell the courier and we send them back to the mainland."
Having followed the program for more than five years she said she was excited to finally be involved in the project.
Ms Wisby said she normally filled two large seven-kilogram bags a week with aluminium, hair, plastic and paper, that would have otherwise gone in the trash.
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She said being sustainable was always a big part of her business model, and her staff and clients all supported the program.
"The clients are really thrilled that they're part of the initiative," she said.
"We've offset the cost to be part of this project and a subsidy of $3 is applied to all of our clients."
She said as a sustainable salon her clients have been happy to contribute to the program.
"Everyone's been really thrilled and interested in being part of it and it's been nice for us to sort of educate clients on what that $3 does for the environment, the sustainability and the projects it is in."
Ms Wisby explained all the waste her business generated was being recycled with some items finding their way back into the salon - while others were taking on a new life.
"The aluminium gets recycled and we put highlights in clients' hair so we use the recycled aluminium, it goes full circle," she said.
"Hair is actually made into oil booms. They pack a stocking full of off-cut hair and use it to absorb oil spills in the ocean. Also if you've got a long length of ponytail that gets sent away it's made into wigs."
Ms Wisby said any salon could sign up to get involved with some in Launceston already following her lead. As it was not-for-profit there was no cost to the business.
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