THE state's Return and Earn container deposit scheme sailed serenely past the two billion items mark last week.
The scheme - where each recyclable bottle or can is worth 10 cents when it is deposited at an eligible location - took a year to reach one billion containers and just seven months to add another.
About four million bottles or cans are now being handed in each day - almost half of all drink containers sold - and the three billion mark is expected to be breached before the year's out.
So the scheme, by any measure, has been an unqualified success.
And that's what makes it so easy to forget the cynicism, scepticism and, in some cases, bitter resistance that greeted its arrival.
Large scale government schemes of this nature do have - not unfairly - a reputation for inefficiency and waste, so it was no surprise that Return and Earn was far from universally welcomed when the details first started to emerge.
Early mis-steps in the rollout that followed - unclear instructions over what state the bottles and cans needed to be in; a clunky delivery of the reverse vending machines - didn't help, nor did the drinks companies' unseemly haste in passing their extra costs on to consumers.
The scheme had a particularly difficult birth in Bathurst, where it began over the counter in a petrol station, moved to a nearby reverse vending machine that quickly proved unpopular with neighbours and finally settled in three locations spread around town.
But the numbers have since told the story - two billion (and counting) indications that the state has embraced the arrangement.
In the almost two years since Return and Earn began, we've been through the same process - unhappy resistance, stoic sufferance, grudging acceptance - with the end to free plastic bags in the major supermarkets.
Shoppers who were never again going to darken the door of the major chains are now bringing their reusable bag from home - just as the change intended.
And as concerns about our waste and environmental impact increase, those are unlikely to be the only changes we will have to endure.
But we can adapt. We can adjust.
It might take a bit of grumbling, but we'll get there in the end. And when the change proves successful, we'll say that we knew it was going to work all along.