How Return and Earn became a recycling success

The NSW Return and Earn program has seen over four billion containers recycled since 2017 through the scheme.

According to Environment Minister Matt Kean, the program’s design enabled it to deliver tangible environmental, social and economic benefits to NSW, including more than $10.4 million paid to not-for-profits and charities via donations.

“The latest research shows 75 per cent of residents have now participated in Return and Earn – this is a phenomenal achievement in less than three years,” Kean said.

“It also highlights the importance of community-based return point operators like local newsagencies, corner stores and post offices.”

Job opportunities

Return and Earn has provided opportunities for local business to get on board and realise the potential for commercial opportunities and local job creation.

In turn, local businesses have improved customer access by increasing the number of return points.

Kean said that the benefits of the scheme for the environment and to the individual are clear: less material ending up as litter or landfill while being rewarded for each container returned.

“Benefitting from being part of the scheme are social enterprises like Vinnies which have set up their own return points and collected over 100 million containers.

“This has created jobs for many people within communities, including those with disabilities and the long-term unemployed,” he added.

The network of return points in NSW currently consists of 245 over-the-counter return points and 27 automated depots, alongside the 325 reverse vending machines.


WMMR renews with state working groups

Following on from the recent Board and State Branch Committee elections, Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) has announced its 2020-2022 state working group leaders.

“To all who nominated and voted, thank you. The nomination process drew a number of responses from a wide range of members, and we’re delighted to welcome all chairs, vice chairs, and secretaries,” WMRR CEO, Gayle Sloan said.

“WMRR is excited to be working with all these leaders over the next two years and thanks outgoing chairs, vice chairs, and secretaries for their time and commitment to the association.

“As new State Branch and working group leaders settle in, the WMRR national office is working closely with them and we are really keen to drive further engagement and participation across all states. Tasmania is the last of the completely new leadership teams to meet, so please get involved and reach out if you would like to participate.”

WMMR added that financial members are also welcome to join their State Branch Committees and working groups.

WMRR’s 2020-2022 State Working Group leaders

Working groupChairVice chairSecretary
New South Wales
Resource Recovery and Market Development (RRMD)Vanessa Seaton, VeoliaDayne Steggles, Benedict Recycling
Energy from Waste (EfW)Edward Nicholas, Tribe Infrastructure GroupMiles Mason, New Energy CorporationJade Garth, Arup
Waste educatorsReyhaneh Behboudi, WSROCClaire Mahendradatta, MRA ConsultingTarah Slattery, City of Canterbury Bankstown
Young Professionals (YPs)Celine El-Khouri, SLR ConsultingClaire Mahendradatta, MRA ConsultingSusann Noe
LandfillArk Du, VeoliaShaun Rainford, ArupTricao Vo, Global Synthetics
Construction and demolition (C&D)Jason Sweeney, BoralTerry Martin, Brandown
RRMDSteve Robertson, AECOMGavin Crawford, Bundaberg Regional Council
EfWBlake Almond, Henshall CapitalChris Alexander, Phoenix Power Recyclers
Waste educatorsChristine BlanchardAlix Baltais, EnviroCom
YPsShady Goodarzi, AECOMDarcy O’Brien, EnviroCom
LandfillColin Kangas, RemondisAmir Shahkolahi, Global SyntheticsHayley Page, Townsville City Council
South Australia/Northern Territory
RRMDMarina Wagner, Sustainable SolutionsSarah Barrett, Adelaide Hills Region Waste Management Authority
EfWRaoul McAlister, RDM Solutions
Waste educatorsGrace Barila, KESAB
YPsMatthew Allan, Rawtec
LandfillThomas Gallasch, Cleanaway
Tasmania – no nominations held at this time
RRMDBrad Mashman, Recovery (TAS)
LandfillChristine Bell, Southern Waste Solutions
RRMDKelvin Davies, NextekBettina Zimmerman, GHD
EfWGillian Hand-Smith, Sustainability by InnovationAndy Race, SUEZStuart Banks, GE
Waste educatorsT.B.C.T.B.C.T.B.C.
YPsJulian Howard, SMECGerianne Robles, Sustainability VictoriaRoger Britto, Tonkin+Taylor
LandfillLachlan James, SMECLuke Adams, Tonkin+Taylor
Western Australia
EfWJason Pugh, Laing Investment Management ServicesJohn King, Talis Consultants
Waste educatorsLibby Eustance, WMRCTeresa Belcher, SMRC
LandfillIan Watkins, IW Projects
C&DJake Hickey, Instant Waste