Easy pocket money as anti-littering initiative comes online

Reid (in foreground) and Nate Lockwood feed the new reverse vending machine, under the supervision of dad Lindsey.
Reid (in foreground) and Nate Lockwood feed the new reverse vending machine, under the supervision of dad Lindsey.

Tenterfield’s reverse vending machine is now operating at its new site between Tenterfield pool and Rotary Park, and the Lockwood family has already made its second visit.

Dad Lindsey is well-organised, bringing along crates to help Reid and Nate reach the machine to enter their cans and bottles to redeem 10 cents per accepted item.

Mr Lockwood was quick to clarify that all the empty cans weren’t from the family’s effort, with their neighbours ‘the boys next door’ contributing a lot of the bounty. The neighbours even went to the trouble of dismantling their VB Christmas tree to contribute to the cause.

There are plans for a visit to the reverse vending machine to become a regular family outing, with an ongoing supply of the recyclables from friends, family and work.

“It’s the boys’ new job,” Mr Lockwood said.

So far they’re redeeming Coles vouchers with mum and dad transferring the value to the boys’ bank accounts. Redemptions can also be made into a PayPal account once the MyTOMRA app is setup on a smartphone.

Alternatively there is also an option to donate the value of redemptions to participating charities, currently the Cancer Council, Cleanup Australia, Ostomy and Take-3-for-the-Sea (another anti-litter group). Local charities can apply through the returnandearn.org.au site to be listed as an option.

While the majority of respondents in an online poll preferred having the reverse vending machine facility at the rear of the Coles complex, the pool-side site was the second most popular option with 31 per cent of the vote. Cr Petty said the site fulfilled several required operational criteria including ease of access for the community and a location on council property.

Littering of unaccepted bottles and cans around the machines has become a problem at other locations, and one which may also cause this council headaches. Only undamaged containers (cans and bottles with labels) with the 10 cent refund printed on the container will be accepted by the machine.

While council is providing the site for the reverse vending machine it won’t be dealing with any issues with payment or containers as these are outside its scope. Complaints for the scheme have to be directed to TOMRA Cleanaway at 1800 290 691 or via an online form.