Seven return and earn machines to land in Tamworth before country music festival

LANDED: Carlo Cavallaro with Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson and the city's first return and earn machine. Photo: Jacob McArthur 030118JMA01
LANDED: Carlo Cavallaro with Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson and the city's first return and earn machine. Photo: Jacob McArthur 030118JMA01

TAMWORTH has finally bottled-up seven return-and-earn reverse vending machines.

The first was dropped at the Robert St shopping centre on Wednesday and should be running in the coming days.

Six more are set to be rolled out across the region to cater for the city’s country music festival population surge.

Calala IGA, the Oxley Bowling Club, the train station, Kootingal IGA and two sites in the Riverside camping grounds have all been pegged for a new machine.

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said it took some “wheeling and dealing” to secure the the machines before festival.

Mr Anderson hopes to find a permanent home for all seven machines post-festival, but the country music campsite contraptions will be removed after January 28.

“We’ll assess at the end of January where the most effective ones were,” Mr Anderson said.

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“The ones at Carter St will not be permanent, they are specifically for the festival.

People who return bottles and cans will have the option to redeem vouchers at Woolworths as well as IGA supermarkets.

Carlo Cavallaro, of Carlo’s IGA fame, said the arrival of the return and earn machines will help clean the city and potentially bring more people through his supermarkets.

“If people choose to use us to redeem the docket, yes, there will be more people,” he said.

Mr Cavallaro said it was too early to tell whether the container deposit scheme has affected sales in his bottle shops.

“It’s very difficult to say if sales have dropped because prices have gone up by 18 per cent,” he said.

Tamworth Urban Landcare secretary Steph Cameron said the Riverside fields would be an excellent permanent site for some of the machines.

Ms Cameron said “a heap of rubbish like bottles, cans and beer bottles that end up in the river” post-festival.

She said a lot of rubbish was also left behind at the grounds from various sporting events and permanently locating machines there “could alleviate the issue”.

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