Forbes still waiting on “return and earn” container location

Still waiting: A small number of Return and Earn sites have been established but most towns and cities in Western NSW are still waiting. Photo: FILE
Still waiting: A small number of Return and Earn sites have been established but most towns and cities in Western NSW are still waiting. Photo: FILE

The return and earn scheme starts this Friday, but at this stage Forbes residents will have to travel to Cowra to get cash back on their empties. 

Just two days out from the start of the container deposit scheme in NSW, the state government has unable to say when Forbes will get its first collection point.

There will be just four collection points across the Central West and Orana regions when the Return and Earn scheme goes live on Friday.

Forbes residents will have to travel to Cowra, Wellington or Dunedoo if they want to get the 10-cent rebate in the opening weeks of the scheme.

The NSW government had said it would have 85 per cent of the proposed 500 Return and Earn sites up and running by December 1.

There will be just 230 sites open and 185 of those are in Sydney. 

Those who use kerbside recycling will not receive the 10-cent rebate, but the waste management company who collects it will be able to claim it.

Cowra, Wellington, Dunedoo and Coonabarabran are the locations that are currently listed on the Return and Earn website.

Cowra and Wellington will be the Return and Earn reverse vending machines, while Dunedoo and Coonabarabran will be over-the-counter returns.

Young also has a reverse vending machine collection point.

The Advocate has confirmed that Twin City Recycling is not part of the scheme.

People returning eligible containers at over-the-counter locations will be able to get a 10-cent cash refund while reverse vending machines will give people the option for an electronic transfer using PayPal, a cash refund or an in-store credit at a local retail partner and an option to donate it to selected charities.

The Cancer Council, St Vincent de Paul, Surf Life Saving NSW and Planet Ark will be the first four charities featured on reverse vending machines from December 1.

Charities, community and sporting groups, schools, and other not-for-profit organisations can also register their interest to become a donation partner under the rotation system.

Fairfax Media approached Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton, asking her why some towns had missed out and if there was a timetable for collection points opening.

The Minister was also asked if it was fair that people would have to store bottles and cans until a collection point was installed.

A spokesperson for Ms Upton provided a one sentence response.

“More than 230 collection points across NSW are available online. The rollout will continue – this is just the start.”