CASH FOR TRASH: Worker Sonja Smart at CQ Recycling and Recovery depot in Gladstone, part of the Containers for Change scheme.
CASH FOR TRASH: Worker Sonja Smart at CQ Recycling and Recovery depot in Gladstone, part of the Containers for Change scheme. Kadesh Johnson GLA270619CONT

Recycling initiative hits $1m mark

GLADSTONE region residents are turning their recyclable bottles and cans into fast cash at recycling depots across the region.

As at June 23, just over 10.5 million containers had been collected and $1 million refunded from three collection points in the Gladstone region since November last year.

These locations include Kanga Bins Gladstone, CQ Recycling and Recovery Gladstone, and LOT Recycling Boyne Island.

There are two other refund points in Calliope and Agnes Water which are not included in this statistic.

Co-owner of CQ Recycling and Recovery Gladstone, Kevin Vickers, said the scheme was important primarily for environmental reasons but also for employment purposes.

"The main thing is to get it out of the ocean, get it off the street ... they're talking about islands of plastic and that's just sickening," Mr Vickers said.

"Unfortunately we are a very wasteful society."

He said some of his customers also see it as "the way to pay for their fuel every day."

"In the past you'd see it as litter, now you can see it as money," Mr Vickers said.

 

Co-owner Kevin Vickers at CQ Recycling and Recovery Depot in Gladstone, part of the containers exchange scheme, where a days worth of cans have been collected.
Co-owner Kevin Vickers at CQ Recycling and Recovery Depot in Gladstone, part of the containers exchange scheme, where a days worth of cans have been collected. Kadesh Johnson GLA270619CONT

Mr Vickers said another advantage of the scheme is being given the opportunity to create local jobs.

"(There) are people that wouldn't have had a job if this scheme wasn't implemented in Queensland."

Since it was launched in Queensland eight months ago, more than 600 million containers have been collected, resulting in $60 million in refunds going back to Queenslanders, a COEX spokesperson said.

The aim of the scheme was to reduce the amount of drink container litter in the environment and provided community members with an incentive to collect and return containers for recycling.

A COEX spokesperson said as the network of refund points continued to grow, people were benefiting from "faster, more accessible services".

"Residents of Gladstone and, more widely, Central Queensland have really embraced the scheme and have become change-makers for our natural environment," a COEX spokesperson said.

COEX aims to have 307 sites open by November 1 this year across the state.

To find out if your container is eligible to be recycled and receive a refund, visit containersforchange.com.au.



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