Illawarra residents have cashed in on the NSW government’s recycling scheme, helping to deliver a record reduction in the volume of litter across the state.
NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) figures reveal more than 39 million containers have been put into the region’s reverse vending machines (RVM) since the Return and Earn initiative began one year ago.
The region’s most popular RVM for returns was at Woolworths Wollongong, which collected more than 5.2 million containers in the past 12 months.
The RVM at Woolworths Shellharbour wasn’t far behind (5,118,387 containers processed), followed by the Woolies sites at Corrimal (4,374,445) and Fairy Meadow (3,928,959).
The Woolworths Fairy Meadow RVM no longer operates at that site; it has been shifted to the Fraternity Club.
The Illawarra container collections form part of the more than one billion deposited across the state. The state’s one-billionth drink container was processed on Sunday afternoon.
Parliamentary secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward said the region had been “one of the stars of the state”.
The overall Illawarra figure – 39,287,074 as of late on Sunday – accounted for every container collected at RVMs across the region’s four state electorates – Keira, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama.
An extra 15.4 million containers were collected in the South Coast electorate, and a further 10.8 million in the seat of Heathcote.
When broken down into electorates, the data shows Wollongong residents were the biggest return-and-earners, with its five RVMs collecting a combined 14,527,277 containers. The five RVMs in the Shellharbour electorate have collected a total of 12,723,122 containers.
Meanwhile, the separate Unanderra bulk container deposit centre – operated by Vinnies – last week celebrated processing more than 3 million containers since it opened in April.
The automated centre, on Investigator Drive, offers drive-through access, fast sorting and counting, as well as on-the-spot 10-cent refunds.
Overall, the Vinnies NSW Container Deposit Scheme initiative has processed more than 10 million containers statewide, helping divert more than 38,400 cubic metres of recyclable waste – or about 417 semi-trailer loads – from landfill.
CORONA SUNSET CANS RECYCLED
Thousands of cans consumed at the weekend’s Corona Sunsets festival at North Wollongong are being recycled.
Organisers say between 20,000 and 25,000 cans would go to a Return and Earn-style facility, with all the money going back to Clean Vibes; the waste management service sorting the rubbish.
No glass or plastics were used at the festival.
REVERSE VENDING MACHINES – BY THE NUMBERS
- Woolworths Bulli: 2,807,593
- Woolworths Corrimal: 4,374,445
- Thirroul Bowling Leagues & Recreation Club: 183,912
- TOTAL: 7,365,950
- Albion Park RSL: 1,889,640
- Berry Bowling Club: 335,079
- Bomaderry Bowling Club: 766,072
- IGA Michael Cronin Oval Gerringong: 75,671
- Jamberoo Golf Club: 225,896
- Kiama View Shopping Centre: 1,378,367
- TOTAL: 4,670,725
- Bundeena Bowling and Sports Club: 176,793
- Engadine Bowling Club: 1,422,683
- Helensburgh Golf Driving Range: 793,734
- Menai Market Place: 4,968,127
- Sutherland PCYC: 3,394,098
- TOTAL: 10,755,435
- Warilla Bowls & Recreation Club: 2,648,015
- Dapto Showground: 2,772,396
- Killalea State Park/Reflections Holiday Resort: 2,005,026
- The Links Shell Cove: 179,298
- Woolworths Shellharbour: 5,118,387
- TOTAL: 12,723,122
South Coast electorate
- Culburra Bowling & Recreation Club: 353,950
- Greenwell Point Bowling Club: 74,752
- Mollymook Beach Bowling & Recreation Club: 59,121
- Nowra Stockland: 3,208,588
- Woolworths Nowra: 3,291,270
- IGA St Georges Basin: 1,506,758
- Milton Ulladulla Ex Servos Club: 1,614,682
- Ulladulla St Vincent de Paul: 1,696,739
- Woolworths Vincentia: 3,622,315
- TOTAL: 15,428,175
- Coles Berkeley: 2,861,794
- Woolworths Fairy Meadow (no longer on site): 3,928,959
- The Fraternity Club: 1,000,851
- Port Kembla Golf Club: 119,478
- Coles Warrawong Shopping Centre: 1,385,02
- Woolworths Wollongong: 5,231,175
- TOTAL: 14,527,277
TOTAL FOR ILLAWARRA: 39,287,074
TOTAL FOR SIX ELECTORATES: 65,470,684