170,000 cans and bottles in a week
MATT GOODWIN spends his working week tipping bottles and cans into the sorting machines at Vinnies Dubbo Return and Earn and as the site manager he also looks after the paperwork.
In its first six days of operation, nearly 171,000 cans and bottles from 370-odd customers have been processed at a daily average of about 28,500 items, with the biggest day so far seeing more than 40,000 items go through the machines.
“Our customers are very positive about this service, the way you can arrive at the site, get right to it and see the process, and the big point we’ve got is the cleanliness and the hygiene around the place,” Mr Goodwin told
“People are really impressed that they can come in here, it’s all clean and they’re not exposed to spillage which they would be if they were picking up their own cans and loading them into a machine.
“I don’t think people realise how much is recycled through the process. We have businesspeople bringing stuff in and some have expressly said that what they get in refunds is what they’re putting back into sporting clubs as donations and sponsorship.
“We have people who just get up in the morning and walk around town, whether it be Dubbo or Gilgandra or Narromine, and on their daily walk they pick up bottles and cans. They’re providing a service to their community.
“We’ve got other people who are walking the highways, picking up bottles and cans, and bring in hundreds – and at times thousands – of items which is a benefit to the community in cleanliness.
“It’s giving people who are somewhat disadvantaged or not financially secure another means to support their families,” he explained.
Elizabeth Parkes was dropping off about half a dozen wheelie bins full of recyclables when Dubbo Photo News was on site, and all for a good cause.
“We collect cans for the grandkids and put the money in their school banking accounts. This Return & Earn has been really good, we can just bring (our recycling) down here and they do the sorting for us,” Mrs Parkes said.
“The grandkids want to get the money out but we’ve told them not until they’re 18 – it’s teaching them how to save and to value recycling and having a tidy town at the same time. When they come up home it’s always, ‘Nan, how much have we got in our accounts now?’”
Daniel Benson works at the new facility, which only opened at the beginning of last week, and is flat out working the machines.
“Mate, it’s unreal. The community loves it and it’s so quick, it’s so easy, you’re paid on the spot straight away, people can just hang back and let us do all the work, you don’t have to feed it yourself, you don’t have to wait around for the crowd in front of you, you’re in, out, paid, all in 10 minutes – and it gives the likes of us three full time jobs as well,” Mr Benson said.
“We know the government’s trying to cut waste by 40 per cent and you see people walking the roads now looking for cans and bottles. It’s making a massive difference – that 40 per cent’s going to be knocked over real soon.”
Curtis Ebsworth said he just enjoys getting out of bed every day to go to work.
“I love working here, the customers love coming here, it’s quick and easy and their money gets returned to them in their bank account and they’re all good with it,” he said.
Matt Goodwin working with the sorting machines at the new Vinnies Dubbo Return and Earn.