'Return and Earn' recycling station's have been popular.
'Return and Earn' recycling station's have been popular. Tweed Daily News

Is cash-for-cans leading to dumpster diving?

HAS the return and earn scheme led to a frenzy of people willing to go dumpster diving, including foraging in people's private trash, in order to make a few dollars?

There are five Return and Earn collection points, or "reverse vending machines”, on the Northern Rivers and two months into the scheme residents are loving the chance to get a few dollars back - maybe even a little too much.

The launch of each local collection point produced a flurry of activity and rumours are circulating that people are rifling through bins, including other resident's bins before they are put on the curb for bin day, in order to claim the 10 cents per container for themselves.

One man reported he had heard of someone in Ballina who found a person rifling through bins in their backyard.

The scheme was criticised from its debut for sending the price of individual drinks up at least 20 cents (and $5 for beer cartons) and offering less in refunds, as well as problems when the contractor failed to meet the rollout targets for collection points when the scheme launched on December 1.

Currently around 400 of the 500 collections points have been rolled out.

The NSW container deposit scheme has passed the 32 million returns mark this month.

People can get 10 cents for each eligible bottle or can, which they can get paid directly into their account using an app or a docket they can redeem for cash at Woolworths.



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