Corowa residents can now recycle their empty drink containers and receive a 10-cent refund for each one after D & M Scrap Metal was recently awarded the contract to collect containers for the NSW Government’s ‘Return and Earn’ scheme.
Thousands of drink containers have already been recycled for a refunded at the Corowa business since last week, with owners Danielle and Malcolm O’Toole excited to take on the extra recycling venture.
“It fits in line with our core business, our core business being recycling,” Mrs O’Toole said.
“We want to be able to offer a full broad range of the availability to recycle products.
“It is meeting our existing customers’ needs a little bit higher.”
The NSW Government rolled out the ‘Return and Earn’ scheme state-wide from December 1 to reduce drink container litter.
Every year, more than 160 million drink containers end up as litter in NSW which is costing the community millions of dollars in clean-up fees.
According to the NSW Government,
countries around the world and cities across Australia have seen significant positive benefits from container deposit schemes.
Mrs O’Toole said the idea was for residents to take eligible drink containers, which should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and with the original label attached to a ‘Return and Earn’ collection point.
Most 150-millilitre to 3-litre drink containers are refundable if they are made from glass, plastic, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard (cartons).
There are three types of collection points across NSW including reverse vending machines, over-the-counter collection points and automated depots.
Staff at D & M Scrap Metal will be on hand to manually count the drink containers, which will be collected and stored in a skip on the premises until they are recycled.
Cash refunds will be given on the spot and residents are required to produce a NSW driver’s licence.
Mrs O’Toole expects the busiest time for those looking to recycle their containers would be at the weekends.
“We have enough staff to cover us and there are a couple of our own kids who actually works for our business and we have specifically put one of them on to cater for the extra business on a Saturday morning,” she said.
“It’s another key part to our business that we have made allowances for.”
Mrs O’Toole said the amount of road side litter that would be reduced as a result of the scheme would be ‘phenomenal’.
“The amount of money taxpayers were paying to have this cleaned up is ridiculous, so it’s a good incentive for everyone to get a little bit back by doing the right thing and saving themselves money on taxes down the road,” she said.
“People will now think twice about throwing their drink containers away.”
D & M Scrap Metal Office Manager Katrina Dutton said the scheme had been positively received so far and urged anyone with questions to visit www.returnandearn.org.au