Maddy's Paper Bricks
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NDIS and Disability Support

Maddy's Paper Bricks

3 April 2024
Maddy has discovered an innovative way to deal with the excess paper waste we generate every day - by turning old newspapers into paper bricks! Over the last six years Maddy has crafted an impressive total of 884 bricks, carefully recording each one in her notebook.

The project, Recycled Warmth, started at a visit to her mum’s house, where the amount of rubbish thrown out daily caught her attention. Together with her mum, Maddy began searching for a way to repurpose the discarded newspapers, leading them to the concept of paper bricks.

Maddy's Paper Bricks

These bricks, which Maddy sells for 50c each, have become quite popular, especially as the weather cools down in April. People stock up on them to use as a cleaner, more eco-friendly alternative to traditional fire-starters for their fireplaces. The bricks burn for about 10-20 minutes each and don’t produce the unpleasant smell that some fire-starters do.

Making her paper bricks is straightforward but requires plenty of patience. Maddy soaks the newspapers in water for several days. Once the papers are thoroughly soaked, she uses moulds to press the pulp into brick shapes. These are then left to dry on a rack in the sun for weeks before they’re ready to be sold. Maddy even looks through the newspapers to find funny or familiar names and phrases to create personalised bricks as gifts for friends and family.

Maddy's Paper Bricks

Maddy’s efforts are supported by her community where she has struck up friendships with local businesses, like the newsagency and gym. Each week they save all their old newspapers for her, ensuring she has a steady supply of materials. This not only helps Maddy, but also reduces their waste, making it a win-win for the community.

Living in one of Rise’s many Supported Accommodation homes, Maddy has been encouraged by staff to pursue her business entirely from the comfort of her home, proving that even small steps can have a big impact.

Recycled Warmth can be found on Facebook and people can purchase both paper bricks and colouring-in pages through Marketplace

Want to learn more about Supported Accommodation?

Rise provides a range of housing for people with disability across Perth. We offer a place to belong where you can be supported to gain and maintain your independence. We understand everybody is different and we’re keen to find out what matters to you. For more information talk to Mandy on 0436 686 897 or email amanda.hughes@risenetwork.com.au

Learn more about Supported Accommodation on our website here.

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