RECYCLING OPEN: The popular Return and Earn bulk collection centre at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre.
RECYCLING OPEN: The popular Return and Earn bulk collection centre at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre.

REVEALED: Our huge returns on bottle and can collections

It seems we’re a thirsty bunch on the North Coast, and we don’t mind making a bit of loose change back from our empty bottles and cans.

A new report from Recyclers Return and Earn to mark the scheme’s third birthday showed that 75 per cent of NSW residents had participated in the scheme, and two out of every three drink containers supplied in the state in the last 12 months had been recycled.

The report also shows how much we’re returning in each of our local government areas, and the numbers are a sight to behold.

In the Clarence Valley, over the past three years more than 55 million pieces have been recycled through the Return and Earn facilities.

Lismore has had more than 42 million items, Richmond Valley 37 million, Ballina 20 million and Byron council area 18 million.

A full breakdown of what’s being recycled can be found in this table.

In terms of tonnage, the Clarence Valley’s efforts have recycled more than 4300 tonnes of container waste alone.

James Dorney, CEO of NSW network operator TOMRA Cleanaway congratulated all NSW councils for their enthusiastic support of the scheme, which has strongly contributed to the billions of bottles and cans returned through Return and Earn since the scheme launched three years ago.

“The benefits of the scheme to our community are clear – 4.6 billion containers that now have a new life as a valuable resource, less litter in our parks and waterways, and $460 million in refunds back into the hands of the community helping bolster local business and charities,” Mr Dorney said.

CLEAN MINDED: Richard Eastwood and his Grandson Alba Eastwood collect litter from around Grafton and recycle it at their local return and earn facility.
CLEAN MINDED: Richard Eastwood and his Grandson Alba Eastwood collect litter from around Grafton and recycle it at their local return and earn facility.

“The strength of partnerships with local governments and the Return and Earn scheme is evidenced through the number of return points hosted across the state by councils which is increasing each year”.

This change in attitude to litter and recycling can be seen across NSW with 64 per cent of NSW residents stating the scheme will increase the amount of recycling they do.

“The remarkable success of the NSW container deposit scheme in its first three years is a result of the joint efforts between State and Local Government, industry and the community. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve in the next three,” Ms Smalley added.



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