Members of Gunnedah Workshop Enterprises are encouraging the community to continue to use kerb-side recycling as well as the NSW Government Container Deposit Scheme

HARD AT WORK: Members of Gunnedah Workshop Enterprises sort through tonnes of recycling daily. Photo: Billy Jupp

HARD AT WORK: Members of Gunnedah Workshop Enterprises sort through tonnes of recycling daily. Photo: Billy Jupp

Gunnedah Workshop Enterprises is encouraging residents to continue using kerb-side recycling following the launch of the Container Deposit Scheme.

The CDS was launched by the NSW government on Friday with Woolworths Gunnedah’s Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) now in use. The scheme enables consumers to redeem a 10 cent refund on eligible beverage containers.

General manager of Gunnedah Workshop Enterprises, Mick Hull, said the organisation supports the CDS but is concerned it may impact the jobs of its employees.

“The CDS is a great initiative by the state,” Mr Hull said.

“However, it will take away some of the product we used to get for recycling.

“If people don’t want to take their containers to the machine and claim their 10 cents they can put them back in the [recycling] bin and the proceeds of that will go back into helping us provide support, training and employment for disabled people.”

Mr Hull said the kerb-side recycling collections will also allow locals to recycle products that are unable to be put through a RVM.

“Plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans can be put through the machines,” he said.

“All your other recyclables such as cardboard can still go in your recycle bins.”

Mr Hull said it was difficult to predict the impact the CDS will have on the facility.

“We have about 24 people working at Recyclit,” he said.

“It’s hard to say what the effect will be; it all depends on the number of people who choose to put their products through the machines.” 

Supervisor at the  facility, Brendan Bain, said “don’t forget about us”.

“We are a locally run not-for-profit community group who employ people with disabilities in town," Mr Bain said.

The supervisor said the staff “love” working there.

“We try to make our guys take holidays and they don’t want to leave and take them [because] they like being here so much,” Mr Bain said.

“It’s a social aspect for them in their lives as well; it gets them out of the house and it gets them involved in the community.”

When consumers return their containers at the RVM’s they will be able to choose to donate their refund directly to selected charity, receive the refund via electronic payment or redeem the refund in the form of Woolworth’s credit vouchers issues at the RVM.