Macarthur residents have jumped on board a scheme that allows them to get cash back for returning their containers, bottles and cans.
The Return and Earn container deposit scheme has been embraced since its introduction in December.
Residents are able to take their plastic or glass bottles and deposit them at selected drop-off points and receive 10 cents a pop.
More than two million containers have been returned to Camden, Spring Farm, Campbelltown and Ingleburn’s reverse recycling machines.
But one local company is blowing the machines out of the water with the number of containers it collects daily.
Nepean Distributors, based in Narellan, has collected 70,000 containers in six weeks.
Managing director Anthony Morrissey said he was pleased so many locals had jumped on board with the scheme.
“We usually get 2000 containers a day,” he said.
“Four hundred customers have dropped off their containers
“The number of cans each person brings in can vary.
“A lady and her grandson brought in 53 containers.
“Another man brought in 297 and one man brought in 2500 in two trips.
“People are coming out of their way to recycle their containers.”
Nepean Distributors, which supplies schools and sporting club canteens with confectionery and drinks, is an over-the-counter collection point for the scheme.
Hannah, Ryan and Mia came in to swap their containers for cash. We are grateful for the support of our local community and ❤️ the fact that the @NSWGovCDS is changing the environmental mindset of our young locals! #ReturnAndEarn#DoingMyBit@NSW_EPA@GladysB@gabrielleuptonpic.twitter.com/V3APqBFbqm— Nepean Distributors (@nepeandist) January 11, 2018
Mr Morrissey said Nepean Distributors offered a better service than the reverse recycling machines.
He said his staff took the time to talk with customers and gave kids a lolly for their recycling efforts.
“The machines can reject cans or can be full,” he said.
“People can come to us with their bags or containers of bottles and we can count cans two at a time, or glass four at a time.
“We are quicker than the machines which need the cans to be fed in one-by-one.
“They then get their cash straight away rather than getting a voucher that can then be used in Woolworths.”
Mr Morrissey said locals were collecting cans by cleaning up the environment in order to get more cash back.
“I have noticed that there is now less litter at parks,” he said.
“A couple of teenagers told me they went to a local park to collect containers so they could get some extra pocket money.
“It is making people, especially kids and teenagers, think about recycling.
“We want to help change their mindset to think about the environment and cleaning up their local park.”
So proud of Daniel helping his dad collect containers from local parks. His haul of 1414 containers is awesome. He gets an extra lolly for his trouble,$141.40 for his 🐖 bank and 1414 cans not in landfill!!!♻️♻️♻️ #ReturnAndEarn@NSWGovCDS@NSW_EPA@GladysB@gabrielleuptonpic.twitter.com/R3iaFZABxF— Nepean Distributors (@nepeandist) January 4, 2018
Mr Morrissey said schools and sporting clubs would also benefit from the scheme because the cash back could be reinvested into the Parents and Citizens committees and into the club.
He said a handful of schools were on board with the scheme in December and 30 more would join when school resumes.
“We supply 48 clubs and 120 schools with drinks so we knew there was an opportunity for them to return their containers and get money back,” Mr Morrissey said.
Nepean Distributors will also support local charities.
They have teamed up with African Aids Foundation and Dr John Schwarz.
Clients at the Dr Schwarz’s surgery are being encouraged to take their containers to Nepean Distributors so the money can be donated to the foundation.
Mr Morrissey hoped to help out other local charities including the local Rotary clubs.
“We want to support local charities,” he said.
“We are excited about giving back to the community.”
For details on the Return and Ear scheme, including local locations, visit: returnandearn.org.au