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Media release
7 JUN 2024

Maitland Community Celebrates New Return and Earn Depot

The Maitland community came together today to celebrate the new Maitland Return and Earn automated depot in Rutherford, operated by the St Vincent de Paul Society (‘Vinnies’) in NSW.

More than 50 people attended the grand opening event, including The Hon. Jenny Aitchison Member for Maitland and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Yolanda Siaz, CEO St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, Alexandra Geddes, Executive Director of the NSW EPA, James Dorney, CEO TOMRA Cleanaway and Danielle Smalley, CEO Exchange for Change as well as representatives from the Rotary Club of East Maitland and a number of local sporting groups.

The grand opening of the new large-format depot is a major milestone for Vinnies, who have partnered with Return and Earn network operator TOMRA Cleanaway. This is the first return point of its kind in Maitland, and Vinnies’ 10th Return and Earn depot in NSW.

The bulk-processing facility is designed to quickly process large amounts of eligible drink containers and also supports community fundraising efforts for local not-for-profit groups and charities.

The Maitland community are already enthusiastic recyclers, with more than 128 million containers returned through four local return points available in the area.

Vinnies NSW has been closely involved with Return and Earn since the container deposit scheme launched six years ago. The charity prides itself on providing easy and convenient locations for the community to return their eligible bottles and cans for the 10c refund.

Their partnership with Return and Earn also provides Vinnies with an important revenue stream, supporting their programs and services that help people experiencing poverty and disadvantage.

The new Maitland Return and Earn depot is located on Racecourse Road, Rutherford, and is open from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm Monday to Saturday.

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Quotes attributable to Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison:

“Return and Earn is a hugely successful initiative with more than 11.5 billion bottles, cans and cartons returned through its network of 630 return points across NSW since the scheme began.”

“The Maitland community are enthusiastic recyclers, having returned more than 128 million containers through local return points since the scheme first launched in NSW six years ago.”

“This new depot is the fifth return point for the area, so it’s now even easier for locals to make Return and Earn a part of their recycling routine and keep eligible drink bottles, cans and cartons out of landfill.”

Quotes attributable to Yolanda Saiz, CEO, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW:

“We are delighted with the reception to our tenth bulk Return and Earn depot. Our Maitland site has already processed around 400,000 containers, averaging more than 100,000 containers each week since opening in April.

“The funds are going straight back into helping us provide care and assistance to people doing it tough, to help with household bills, with food, rent, and into supporting our services.”

Quotes attributable to James Dorney, CEO, TOMRA Cleanaway:

“Not only has Return and Earn put more than $1 billion back into the pockets of households across NSW, it has also supported charities and community groups to the tune of $54 million.”

“We’re delighted to again partner with the amazing Vinnies team to provide the people of Maitland and surrounds with this convenient new location to recycle your eligible bottles and cans and help your local environment.”

“Return and Earn’s automated depots are an important part of the return point network, and enable not-for-profits like St Vincent de Paul to put more money back into the local community with every recycled container, all while helping the environment and providing local jobs.”