NEARLY 20 million cans and bottles have been recycled via machines in Albury and Corowa in the 12 months of 10-cent container refunds.
The machine at Springdale Heights IGA supermarket was just outside the top 10 units in NSW with more than 7.1 million.
The station at the Coles supermarket at Lavington processed more than 4.2 million.
More than 4 million cans and bottles have poured through the machine near Lauren Jackson stadium in East Albury since its relocation from the Norris Park IGA grocery in May.
It received 2.7 million while at its previous site.
Corowa’s Return and Earn unit, which opened at the town’s RSL club in May, has taken in more 1.4 million.
Springdale Heights and East Albury IGA owner Bob Mathews was not surprised at the huge volume, which equates to 53,000 containers being deposited each day across Albury and Corowa.
He says an average $12,500 a week is being paid out at each of his supermarkets in reimbursements for deposits.
Mr Mathews suspects much of the throughput at the Springdale Heights and East Albury machines is generated by Victorians.
“I’d say maybe 15 to 20 per cent at Springdale Heights and anything up to 40 per cent at the PCYC are coming from Victoria,” he said.
“I know at the O and M grand final all the cans and bottles came back across the border from Wangaratta.”
At Springdale Heights on Monday, Roslyn Mason was processing bottles brought back from her workplace’s interoffice Christmas party at Bendigo on Saturday.
She said each month she deposited containers from her depot and used the money to buy slabs of bottled water from the IGA at Springdale Heights.
“I think it’s a great scheme,” Mrs Mason said.
“I can’t understand why it’s taken so long, South Australia has had it forever and you speak to people from overseas and they say they’ve had it forever.
“I can’t understand why Victoria hasn’t come on board.”
An unemployed Albury man, who did not want to be identified, said he used money from deposits to supplement his dole.
He estimated he was getting a $40 to $50 return for each visit before he regained his driver’s licence and now nets up to $100.
The recycling enthusiast pushes through containers on a weekly, if not daily basis, and says “I’m probably the second biggest guy that puts stuff through” at Springdale Heights.
He said it had become harder over the 12 months as littered cans and bottles lessened, but he had four people regularly providing him with containers.