NEWS EX­TRA New Re­turn and Earn ma­chines go on­line

Dubbo Photo News - - News Extra - By JOHN RYAN

DUBBO res­i­dents frus­trated with the au­to­mated Re­turn and Earn ma­chines that have been in place for the past few years now have an al­ter­na­tive, af­ter the of­fi­cial open­ing of a new fa­cil­ity by St Vin­cent de Paul on Mon­day.

Open and staffed from Mon­day to Satur­day, 8.30am to 3.30pm, the new bulk de­posit de­pot boasts two ma­chines that can count 100 con­tain­ers per minute – and you get your cash put straight onto your EFTPOS card.

In the first day of oper­a­tion more than 25,000 bot­tles and cans went through the doors and that could go as high as 100,000 each day.

Jon D’as­toli is Vin­nies Con­tainer De­posit Scheme (CDS) project man­ager and said peo­ple love deal­ing with hu­mans, and all for a good cause.

“We’re very cus­tomer-fo­cused at Vin­nies, we’ve put a num­ber of these con­tainer de­posit cen­tres to­gether al­ready and this is the first one in the western plains, so it’ll be a real bonus for the com­mu­nity. I know peo­ple are frus­trated about some of the de­lays with the ex­ist­ing ser­vice,” Mr D’as­toli told

“What we’ve got here is a drivein fa­cil­ity with two ma­chines that ba­si­cally count and sort the con­tain­ers at a rate of 100 con­tain­ers a minute, so it’s very, very fast. The fa­cil­ity is un­der­cover, it’s clean, we’ve got friendly staff and you get you re­funds on the spot.

Apart from cus­tomers get­ting their 10 cent re­funds, Vin­nies uses the pro­ceeds of the han­dling charge to put to­wards their good works in the com­mu­nity, he said.

Mr D’as­toli said that Vin­nies has long-stand­ing and enor­mous cred­i­bil­ity in the com­mu­nity and peo­ple are keen to as­sist the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“We help 76,000 peo­ple who are re­ally strug­gling – those most vul­ner­a­ble in our com­mu­ni­ties – with home­less­ness ser­vices, cri­sis shel­ters, af­ford­able hous­ing, food and fi­nance as­sis­tance, coun­selling for those who are deal­ing with men­tal health prob­lems, home vis­its, friend­ship and a whole lot more,” he said.

“Vin­nies is a great brand and we’re very proud to be part of an­other re­cy­cling project. Vin­nies is a re­cy­cler, lots of peo­ple know us through our shops where we re­pur­pose pre-loved clothes, fur­ni­ture and other things and give them new homes, new own­ers – and we stop that stuff from go­ing into land­fill.”

To date, with its Re­turn and Earn scheme Vin­nies has pro­cessed more than 35 mil­lion con­tain­ers through its de­pots based in other cities, and Mr D’as­toli says that’s a lot of land­fill that they’ve saved. He’s says it’s a “ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion” that Vin­nies con­tin­ues to make to­wards re­cy­cling in NSW.

“It’s a fast process, it’s a friendly process, we’ve had plenty of cus­tomers just in the first half hour, we’ve had peo­ple turn up with wool­paks so there’s more than 800 con­tain­ers in a wool­pak; peo­ple turn up with boxes full of con­tain­ers...

“It doesn’t mat­ter, there’s no limit to the num­ber of con­tain­ers that we can take, it’ll be quick, and with re­funds on the spot, you’re guar­an­teed to be happy,” Mr D’as­toli said.

Vin­nies gets a han­dling fee for each of the con­tain­ers, he ex­plained. “Cus­tomers come and get their 10 cents for their con­tain­ers, but Vin­nies gets a han­dling fee for each of those con­tain­ers, so for us it’s all about vol­ume.

“Peo­ple can also do­nate their con­tain­ers and, in that way, Vin­nies gets the 10 cents as well as the han­dling fee so that’s a bonus for us and we wel­come that,” he said.

Tracey Shillingsw­orth is CEO of Re­gional En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute Ltd (REDI.E) which is a part­ner in the fa­cil­ity – she was at the launch and ex­cited about its po­ten­tial.

“REDI is an en­ter­prise or­gan­i­sa­tion that looks at busi­nesses to in­vest in but we’re also an em­ploy­ment and train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple,” Ms Shillingsw­orth said.

“In western NSW and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties we run a com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment pro­gram, which is what peo­ple know as CDEP, where we have just un­der 600 job-seek­ers to ei­ther move into work or who want to do ac­tiv­i­ties around their com­mu­nity – that’s just one of the pro­grams we run.

“This is a re­ally great idea be­cause en­vi­ron­men­tally we need to keep our com­mu­ni­ties clean and tidy and not have a lot of cans and bot­tles ly­ing around. I went and had a look at Vin­nies’ Pen­rith setup and we got to talk­ing about one here in Dubbo – how would it run, how would it ben­e­fit our com­mu­nity, how hard would it be to set it up?

“We cer­tainly want to build some skills and ex­pe­ri­ence in the warehouse in­dus­try, and here you’re out there driv­ing fork­lifts and mov­ing things around and just man­ag­ing the busi­ness,” she said.

She’s also keen to build vol­un­teer ca­pac­ity.

“Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties have had a very long re­la­tion­ship with St Vin­cent de Paul and it’s just an­other part­ner­ship and hope­fully we can repli­cate this fa­cil­ity in a few of our more western com­mu­ni­ties,” she said.

The re­cy­cling de­pot is at 25 Douglas Maw­son Road in east Dubbo. „

Main photo: Jon D'as­toli is the Vin­nies Con­tainer De­posit Scheme (CDS) project man­ager. He’s pic­tured at the new Dubbo fa­cil­ity on its first day this week. In­set: Tracey Shillingsw­orth from Re­gional En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute Ltd. PHO­TOS: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS

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