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17 DEC 2021

Community rallies to support women’s shelter with container refunds

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter (HKWS) has been fundraising through Return and Earn since 2018, raising more than $10,000 to date.

The shelter’s President Louise McCann says the organisation immediately saw the benefits of supporting vulnerable women and children escaping domestic violence and homelessness while helping the environment at the same time.

Louise adds that it was important to them that the decision to raise funds via container returns also upheld the organisation’s strategic objectives of energy efficiency and reducing its carbon footprint.

The fundraising initiative has been promoted via social media and newsletters, and has received enormous community support, Louise says.

“Supporters are not just asked to direct their container refunds to the shelter, but people are also given guidance on how to use Return and Earn reverse vending machines, and where their nearest return point is,” she explains.

“Individuals, businesses and community organisations have been very supportive. They understand the real benefits that recycling and donating via Return and Earn brings to the most vulnerable people in our community.”

As well as that, all eligible containers used at the shelter itself are recycled with Return and Earn, and the refunds go straight back into keeping the shelter running.

Numerous HKWS board members and volunteers are keen recyclers in their personal lives too.

“Many of us collect recyclables when out exercising or walking at our local parks to add to container returns,” Louise says.

She describes the shelter as providing a vitally needed “place where women and children can access crisis accommodation”.

As well as physical shelter, HKWS works with a team of professionals to offer tailored case management “to help women and children reclaim their lives and create a safe and happy future”.

But to keep doing so, it’s important they keep funding coming in.

“HKWS relies on the goodwill of our community to keep our doors and services open,” Louise says. “As the word continues to spread more and more people are taking up the opportunity to be involved.”

Return and Earn recommend checking the status of your nearest return point on our website at before visiting, and avoiding peak times where possible.

Anyone visiting a return point must ensure they comply with the latest Public Health Orders, including checking-in via the QR code displayed, wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing of at least 1.5 metres from others, and practicing good hygiene.


Interested in fundraising through Return and Earn? Find out more on our Fundraising page.

Return and Earn is a partnership between the NSW Government, scheme coordinator Exchange for Change and network operator TOMRA Cleanaway.