"Return and Earn" gives 10 cents for bottles, cans and cartons

New scheme: Renee Newberry at Woolworths in Glen Innes studying how to get money back on cans, cartons and bottles from 150 ml to 3L in size.
New scheme: Renee Newberry at Woolworths in Glen Innes studying how to get money back on cans, cartons and bottles from 150 ml to 3L in size.

A new venture in recycling is about to start in Glen Innes – and this one pays you money.

A machine to accept drinks containers in the Woolworths car-park will be operational from December 1.

It takes in cartons, cans and bottles made of glass, plastic, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard – the stuff cartons are made of.

In return for each item, it gives you 10 cents credit which can go to a charity or your own account or be spent in the store.

But wine and spirit bottles aren’t eligible.

“Wine bottles and spirits in glass containers are not part of the scheme as they are predominantly consumed at home and are not regularly found in the litter stream,” a spokesman for the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) said. 

The chairman and chief executive of the EPA, Barry Buffier, said “Return and Earn, as the scheme is called, will make a major contribution to helping us achieve the premier’s priority of reducing litter volume by 40 per cent by 2020.

“It will also provide people with a financial incentive to do the right thing and recycle, to significantly reduce the estimated 160 million drink containers littered every year.”

These reverse vending machines are set to become common place in NSW, with hundreds planned.

They have been tried in parts of Europe and other parts of Australia and been successful. Brewers say they like them because they get their beer bottles back. What isn’t clear is whether prices rise by the amount of the deposit.

It is also not clear whether it will affect Glen Industries which currently recycles glass with the aim of making money. Recycling has been problematic in Glen Innes because some people put the wrong stuff in bins. This scheme isn’t expected to alter the likelihood of people doing that.