Samuel Thomas, who is autistic and has Tourette syndrome, co-founded Sam’s Spares in 2022 so he could merge his three passions: computers, the environment and helping others.
Sam’s Spares takes donated e-waste, repairs it and then passes items on to people in need or community organisations – completely free of charge. In just one year, Sam’s Spares has taken in 46 tonnes of donated e-waste and diverted nearly 29 tonnes from landfill. Over 1000 items have been repaired, refurbished and redistributed.
A self-taught IT repairman, Samuel is also passing on his skills to other neurodivergent young people. His training program will create long-term employment opportunities for participants.
Samuel is often asked to speak at events and to the media on e-waste and building a more sustainable world. He has been recognised with several awards, including WA Young Volunteer of the Year and the WA Individual Waste Champion in the recent Waste Sorted Awards.