Just shy of 600,000 containers deposited in Albury under Return and Earn scheme

RETURNED: Howlong's Peter Keen is one of many residents in the region to use the collection point at the Norris Park IGA, which has seen just shy of 200,000 containers deposited. Picture: MARK JESSER
RETURNED: Howlong's Peter Keen is one of many residents in the region to use the collection point at the Norris Park IGA, which has seen just shy of 200,000 containers deposited. Picture: MARK JESSER

ALBURY residents have adopted a can-do attitude to the NSW Government's container deposit scheme since it was launched in December.

The two deposit sites, at IGA supermarkets in Springdale Heights and Norris Park, are so popular that they have become the 12th most used in the state. 

That revelation is hardly a surprise to Norris Park IGA proprietor Gary Evans, who said the reverse vending machine at his store had been wildly successful.

Since the scheme was launched a total of 582,586 containers have been deposited in Albury.

“It's been fantastic, the customers have been really great, and the place has been kept clean,” Mr Evans said.

“Cleanaway have been great, the cans are collected from the machine twice a day and they’ve also provided a skip, which is collected daily as well.

“There's really been no issues for us in terms of outgoing costs, we just make sure we give it power.” 

More than 33,000 containers were deposited in Albury on New Year's Day alone.

Mr Evans said people he had spoken to people using the machine who had gone to great lengths to collect cans and containers.

“You hear some great stories, people who have pulled over on the side of the road and picked up something like 200 cans, just so they can bring them in,” he said.

“If people are going to do that, it might start adding up in terms of the environment.” 

Despite warnings of fines for Victorian residents taking advantage of the scheme, Mr Evans said he had seen plenty of people crossing the Border to deposit containers.

With the popularity of the scheme continuing to grow, he said it would be difficult to police who used the machines.

By and large though, Mr Evans said he was optimistic about the future of the scheme.

“Bob (Matthews), really led the way, we’ve learned from his experience and made sure we’ve had a pretty good overall experience,” he said.

“We’d love for a few more people to come in and spend money in the store, and we do get plenty who bring in 10 cans or so and take a dollar off their newspaper.

“Some people are making two to three hundred dollars a day from it, which is pretty incredible.”