IN the six months since Bathurst received its first Return and Earn machine, more than 4.18 million items have been returned and $418,000 given back to the community, and Carenne School is among the beneficiaries.
The first reverse vending machine (RVM) arrived in the city in late December and since then the NSW Government initiative of encouraging people to return acceptable items for a 10 cent refund has been embraced by the community.
“This is a great result and we thank the Bathurst community for their enthusiasm,” a NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) spokeswoman said of the Bathurst data.
In Bathurst, there are three RVMs along with a bulk automated collection point.
The RVM at the Bathurst Community Op Shop has had the highest number of items returns at 1,298,104, followed by the bulk automated collection point (1,167,843), then the RVMs at Service NSW (962,934), Bathurst Recycling on Upfold Street (458,834) and the now closed one at Metro Fuel (298,289).
The NSW EPA spokeswoman said RVMs also benefit charities and community groups with people able to choose to donate their refund rather than keep it.
Each Bathurst RVM offers the choice of four charities/groups – three are national and one is local.
Carenne School is listed on the RVM at Service NSW and teacher Adam Ryan said it was a great fundraising opportunity.
He said the school had been collecting cans and bottles and taking them to the RVM themselves before they were made aware that they could become a donation partner.
Mr Ryan said staff had a few ideas about what the fundraising could go towards, but would leave it up to the students.
“This year we’ve started our own student representative council and I’ve left it open to them to see where they would like the funds to go to,” he said.
People can donate to Housing Plus at the RVM at Bathurst Recycling and Veritas House at the Op Shop.
Donation partnerships are available for three-month periods.
“Return and Earn provides a unique opportunity for local groups to fundraise through a reverse vending machine and we encourage groups to promote this to their communities and fundraising networks as much as possible,” the NSW EPA spokeswoman said.
“Groups can also fundraise by arranging to collect donated drink containers from their community to redeem at a return point for the 10 cent refund.”
To find out more about donation partnerships visit www.returnandearn.org.au.