GONE: The Return and Earn reverse-vending machine at Ballina Fair was removed in September.
GONE: The Return and Earn reverse-vending machine at Ballina Fair was removed in September. Graham Broadhead

When are we getting the reverse vending machine back?

HOW long will it take until Ballina has a new Return and Earn Vending Machine for cans and plastic bottles?

Ballina Shire Council confirmed it has offered a site for lease to Tomra-Cleanaway at the Waste Management facility for their occupation to operate the return and earn vending machine.

"However, it is believed they are looking at an alternate site," the spokeswoman said.

The council noted that the scheme was a State Government initiative, administered by the NSW EPA, who have appointed Tomra-Cleanaway as the company responsible as network operator.

"As such, council has no involvement in the relocation, other than having offered a site for lease."

The local return and earn reverse vending machine was removed on September 10, following noise complaints from residents.

Return and Earn is the largest litter reduction initiative introduced in NSW and has collected more than two billion containers in 19 months.

"Ballina Shire Council and Tomra are working together to relocate the vending machine in a place that is appropriate and does not have a negative impact on community members that live close by," Council posted on social media last August.

The closest Tomra collection centres are located at Cavanbah Centre in Byron Bay, Woolworths at Goonellabah and Woolworths at Lismore.

Tomra and the EPA were unavailable to comment.

The returnandearn.org.au website, owned by the NSW Government, does not mention the closure of the Ballina location and identifies no local return point.

Before NSW introduced the Return and Earn scheme, more than 160 million drink containers littered our streets, beaches, waterways and parks. Drink container litter made up 44 per cent of the volume of litter in the state and cost more than $162 million a year to manage.

The Return and Earn container deposit scheme is a NSW Government initiative funded by contributions from the beverage industry. It offers a 10c refund to consumers for depositing eligible drink containers at return points across NSW.

Since launching on 1 December 2017, the scheme has collected over 2 billion containers through its 600+ return points and has helped reduce the volume of eligible drink container litter across the state.


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