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Rutherford home to new Return and Earn depot

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Rutherford is home to a new Maitland Return and Earn automated depot… the first of its kind in the LGA.

To be operated by the St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies), the bulk-processing facility has been designed to quickly process large amounts of eligible drink containers.

It also supports community fundraising efforts for local not-for-profit groups and charities.

More than 50 people attended the unveiling on Friday 7 June, including Maitland MP and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchsion, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO Yolanda Siaz, NSW EPA executive director Alexandra Geddes, TOMRA Cleanaway CEO James Dorney and Exchange for Change CEO Danielle Smalley, as well as representatives from the Rotary Club of East Maitland and several sporting organisations.

Maitland residents are already enthusiastic recyclers, with in excess of 128 million containers returned through four local return points available in the area.

“Return and Earn is a hugely-successful initiative with more than 11.5 billion bottles, cans and cartons returned through its network of 630 depots across the state since the scheme first launched in NSW six years ago,” Ms Aitchison said.

“This is the fifth return point for the area.

“So, it’s now even easier for locals to make Return and Earn a part of their recycling routine and keep eligible drink bottles, cans and cartons out of landfill.” 

The opening was a major milestone for Vinnies, too.

They’ve partnered with Return and Earn network operator TOMRA Cleanaway.

“We’ve been closely involved with the program since the container deposit scheme launched six years ago,” Ms Saiz said.

“The charity prides itself on providing easy and convenient locations for the community to return their eligible bottles and cans for the 10c refund.

“Our Maitland site has already processed about 400,000 containers, averaging more than 100,000 containers each week since opening in April.

“Vinnies’ partnership with Return and Earn also provides us with an important revenue stream, supporting our programs and services that help people experiencing poverty and disadvantage.

“The funds are going straight back to assist people doing it tough, to aid with household bills, with food, rent and into supporting our services.”

Mr Dorney said TOMRA Cleanaway was proud to be on board.

“Not only has Return and Earn put more than $1 billion back into the pockets of households across NSW, it’s also supported charities and community groups to the tune of $54 million,” he explained.

“We’re delighted to again partner with the amazing Vinnies team to provide the people of Maitland and surrounds with this convenient new location to recycle their eligible bottles and cans.

“Return and Earn’s automated depots are an important part of the return point network.

“They enable not-for-profits like St Vincent de Paul to put more money back into the local community with every recycled container, all while helping the environment and providing local jobs.”

The Maitland Return and Earn depot, located on Racecourse Road, Rutherford, is open from 8.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Saturday.

For more information, visit www.returnandearn.org.au. 

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