"Reverse vending machine" is a hit with enterprising recyclers

CASHING IN: Michelle Lockwood put about 300 cans into Glen Innes' new reverse vending machine in its first week of operation. A similar machine will be installed in Tenterfield soon.
CASHING IN: Michelle Lockwood put about 300 cans into Glen Innes' new reverse vending machine in its first week of operation. A similar machine will be installed in Tenterfield soon.

Start saving up your cans and bottles. A reverse vending machine is to be installed in Tenterfield as one of 800 refund machines being rolled out across the state as part of a NSW Government anti-litter measure.

The recycling machines accept cans and bottles from 150 millilitre to 3 litres in size (although wine bottles are excluded). Feed in the cans and bottles, the machine analyses them and tallies up the 10 cents per item refund. The funds can then be received as a cash vouchers or as a donation to charity.

Council staff are still determining the best location for the machine, but it will be somewhere on council property providing ease of access for the community. Options include near the Band Hall in Crown Street (behind Coles), behind the RSL Pavilion, near the pool, in Federation Park or at the Waste Transfer Station at Sunnyside.

Council chief executive Terry Dodds said the five sites will be assessed later this month, but he’s keen on a site as close as possible to the town centre without the potential for it to become a litter problem in itself.

The Container Deposit Scheme began on December 1 and council originally planned to operate a manual collection service but this wasn’t deemed cost-effective given freight costs to the nearest depot. The state-funded reverse vending machine instead offers on-the-spot electronic payments, vouchers or donations for the return of undamaged containers.

Mr Dodds sees potential for service organisations and clubs to turn this venture into a fundraising opportunity, accumulating the recyclables from out-of-town locations and collecting the refunds for their efforts. Organisations seeking to be included as one of the charity options on the reverse vending machine can also contact Mr Dodds to register their interest.

Glen Innes’s reverse vending machine has been up and running for several weeks, located in the Woolworths carpark. People have been queuing up to return their bottles and cans.

On its first day of operation one man had a ute with six large oil drums packed with bottles and drinks cans for recycling. Another family had a supermarket trolley full of cans.

A bustling recycling business

Comments