A MAN'S intent on making a few bucks from a return-and-earn site has turned criminal after he was caught on camera trespassing to steal bottles that were to be used for a charity donation in Tamworth.
The actions were captured on the Calala Inn's CCTV cameras about 7.25pm on Sunday and have shocked staff and locals.
The hotel collects the empty bottles and cans and then deposits them into the neighbouring return-and-earn depot, just a few metres away. The earnings are then donated to local charities.
A Calala Inn spokesperson told the Leader the hotel had donated $640 to Ronald McDonald House this week, but there was more to be donated until the thief struck after closing time.
The camera's captured the thief trespassing into the secured back area of the Inn and taking a full bin collection of bottles and cans before processing them through the return and earn.
The man is identifiable in the security surveillance, staff said, and the registration of the car used was also captured on CCTV.
Staff have asked the man to fess up, return the voucher to ensure it can be donated to local charities or they'll hand the footage to police.
Earlier this week, the popularity of the reverse vending machines were revealed as numbers showed the four Tamworth site's had collected more than 18.4 million containers since January 2018.
But that popularity is causing another problem. Empty boxes and garbage bags are being strewn across the vending sites with bins unable to cope with the drop offs.
The Calala site has become a dumping ground, especially on weekends, with the garbage bins overflowing, resembling a dumping ground. It's seen 3.7 million returns, under the Container Deposit Scheme.
The Robert Street machine is the most popular in Tamworth, with just over 7 million containers returned, including a record of 40,854 returns on January 28.
The Oxley Bowling Club machine is second on the list with over 6.3 million returns, while 1.3 million returns were made in Kootingal.