Bundaberg Region residents have been cashing in on recycled bottles and cans, with 34 million items returned since the inception of the container refund scheme last year.
The massive figure equates to $3.4 million dollars made from every 10 cent container refund in the region, and makes up just over three per cent of the one billion containers returned through Containers For Change statewide.
It's welcome news for Planet Ark's National Recycling Week campaign, which runs from to Sunday, 17 November and focuses on providing information for residents to brush up on their knowledge and become successful recyclers.
Owner of ABC Recycling Paul English said he opened his Containers For Change recycling facility in Victoria Street in November last year and the operation was still as busy as ever.
“It varies from day to day but we average around 230 to 250 cars and 100,000 containers per day,” he said.
“We have 13 employees currently and we are putting on another two very soon.”
Paul said he had seen many benefits in the region since the container refund scheme was introduced, not only for the people it affected but also the environment.
“There are lots of benefits including creating jobs directly and indirectly, keeping rubbish out of riverbanks and roads and highways container free,” he said.
“This scheme has also given much needed dollars to charities, schools, sporting clubs, surf clubs.
“The list is endless, it really is a win/win for everyone.”
Containers for Change is changing Aussie mindsets
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch announced last week that $100 million in recycled items had been returned to residents and community groups state-wide.
“The scheme has also created around 700 new jobs over the past year, and more than 330 refund points have opened,” she said.
“The volume of returned containers we have seen over the past year has been about a third higher than predicted.”
Minister Enoch said the containers were the second most littered item in the state, but since the scheme started there had been a greater than 35 per cent reduction.
Businesses and community organisations get involved
RSPCA Queensland said the money donated by entering its Containers for Change scheme ID at refund points went directly into providing emergency care for animals.
“We are very grateful for the money received through the container refund scheme and we urge everyone to consider us when they choose to donate,” spokesperson Michael Beatty said.
“Over 52,000 animals pass through our shelters every year and sadly the numbers of native animals and birds coming into the wildlife hospital has nearly quadrupled in the last six years.”
Minister Enoch also announced that the Palaszczuk Government is offering funding to more than 100 not-for-profit and community organisations to help the scheme grow and provide a much-needed boost to fundraising efforts.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to boosting recycling with well over 100 infrastructure grants being offered to not-for-profit organisations,” Minister Enoch said.
“These grants of up to $10,000 will help community groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations purchase the equipment necessary to be donation points, the refunds from these donated containers going directly back to the community group.”
For more information on the Containers for Change scheme visit www.containersforchange.com.au or call 13 42 42.