CONTAINERS FOR CHANGE: Anuha general manager Rob Evelyn.
CONTAINERS FOR CHANGE: Anuha general manager Rob Evelyn. Lachlan McIvor

Residents putting lid on plastic waste and earning change

RESIDENTS in the Lockyer Valley and Somerset have submitted close to 100,000 containers in the first fortnight of Queensland's container refund scheme.

Recycling provider Anuha facilitate five refund points across the two regions and received 88,117 containers as of November 14 to join the more than 17 million returned across the state.

Its two full-time Containers for Change sites have been established in Gatton and Laidley, while the three in Esk, Fernvale and Kilcoy are mobile pop-up sites.

St Vincent de Paul Society have also set-up two sites in Gatton and Rosewood.

Anuha general manager Rob Evelyn believed it would still take time for people to fully grasp the system.

He said it was important to keep in mind that containers need to emptied, cleaned and had their lids removed and to check out the scheme website to view exactly what is eligible.

"A basic rule is (any container) under 150ml is automatically out and over 3L is automatically out," Mr Evelyn said.

"It's a complex system trying to remember what is in and what is out.

"It only applies to beverage containers, not something that you would dilute and not something that would be passed as a food like milk."

All of the rubbish collected returns to the recycling centre in Gatton, which is mainly manned by people with disabilities who have gained work through Anuha's Supported Employment Program.

The scheme has increased the demand for positions at the centre.

"It's certainly given us a whole pile of extra work to do," he said.

"If I had five or six people with a disability who wanted employment, I'd employ them tomorrow."

Two common complaints Mr Evelyn has heard is that the sites do not provide cash in hand and there are no reverse vending machines.

Participants receive the money, 10c for each eligible container, into their bank account within two days.

"I'm not in favour of the reverse vending machines," he said.

"Our system is a lot simpler. It takes you 30 seconds. If you took your bag to a reverse vending machine you could be there for 10 or 15 minutes just feeding it," he said.

"We're not providing cash but that's from a security point of view.

"Our sites get broken into on average more than once a month. If we had cash on site we'd be even more of a target."

Phone 13 42 42 or visit the Containers for Change website for more information.

Refund points

Gatton Tip Shop (64 Fords Road, Gatton) (Opening hours: 8.30am-4pm Monday to Friday and 9am-2.30pm Saturday) (Type: drop-offs)

Re.Turn-it @ Vinnies, Gatton (9 Byrne St, Gatton) (Opening hours: 9am-4pm Monday to Friday and 9am-noon Saturday) (Type: drop-offs)

Laidley Transfer Station (Burgess Rd, Laidley) (Opening hours: 9am-4pm seven days a week) (Type: drop-offs)

Re.Turn-it @ Vinnies, Rosewood (25 John St, Rosewood) (Opening hours: 9am-4pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday) (Type: drop-offs)

Fernvale Futures Centre (1483 Brisbane Valley Highway, Fernvale) (Opening hours: Monday 8-11.30am and 1-4pm on alternating weeks) (Type: mobile and pop-up)

Pipeliner Park (28 Esk Hampton Road, Esk) (Opening hours: Monday 8-11.30am and 1-4pm on alternating weeks) (Type: mobile and pop-up)

Yowie Park (32-40 D'Aguilar Highway, Kilcoy) (Opening hours: Tuesday 8-11.30am and 1-4pm on alternating weeks) (Type: mobile and pop-up)


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