Young recycles millions of items at Return and Earn machines

Josh Kerr says he's been recycling at Return and Earn machines since they were installed three years ago. Photo: Peter Guthrie

Josh Kerr says he's been recycling at Return and Earn machines since they were installed three years ago. Photo: Peter Guthrie

Young residents are some of the most enthusiastic users of Return and Earn machines across the region.

Data from the Environment Protection Authority shows Young residents have recycled more than 18,700,000 items through Return and Earn machines in the past three years.

Young local Josh Kerr made a trip to one of Young's two machines on Thursday morning.

He said he's been recycling at Return and Earn since the scheme started.

"Since they came out essentially I've been using them. Sometimes I probably let the bottles build up too much," he said.

"I've made a fair bit [of pocket change]. I think it's a good thing," he added.

The Forbes region has contributed over 10,300,000 items, Parkes recycled over 17,800,000 and Cowra reached over 15,400,000.

Return and Earn celebrated its third birthday in December.

An EPA spokesperson said the scheme has created a community-wide shift in attitude towards recycling.

"Return and Earn continues to be an outstanding success across New South Wales. Over 4.8 billion containers returned for recycling through the scheme's state-wide network since it commenced three years ago, with the latest research finding three out of four NSW adults have participated in the scheme," an EPA spokesperson said.

"The scheme has fundamentally changed people's thinking and behaviour around litter with over 40 million containers on average returned per week through the network of over 600 return points across NSW," the spokesperson added.

Return and Earn is becoming an increasingly important fundraising avenue for charities and community groups.

More than $15.5 million has been returned to not-for-profits and community groups through donations and fees from hosting return points since the scheme commenced.

Local charities who have benefited from the scheme as donation partners at local return points, giving participants the option of donating some or all of their refund to them, include Parkes Dragon Boat Club, Ronald McDonald House Orange and Young Hospital Auxiliary.

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