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22 JUL 2022

Return and Earn a win-win for students at Tweed Heads Public School

At Tweed Heads Public School teacher Marilyn Coverdale leads an environmental committee which has implemented recycling through Return and Earn. 

“I thought it was a win-win situation – for school fundraising and for the environment,” she says. 

“We collect from the school canteen and parents drop containers at the school,” Marilyn says. “We also have the generous support of the local Banora Point Shopping Village where the cleaning staff collect containers for us.” 

Marilyn says the students, who range from Kindergarten to Year 6, are very enthusiastic about container recycling. 

“The kids are loving it. They tell each other to put empty containers in the crate for recycling,” she says. “Some of them even check the bins to be sure no eligible containers have been mixed in with the rubbish.” 

Students are responsible for collecting the crate of containers on canteen days and bringing it to Marilyn, who takes it to the local Return and Earn machine for recycling. Students are also involved in other environmental activities, such as collecting containers of fruit scraps from each classroom after fruit break each morning to compost in the school garden. 

Marilyn says at last count the school had raised $600 since they implemented Return and Earn in February this year. She is hoping the money raised can eventually go towards a water tank for the school gardens. 

“We’ve got a couple of garden beds in the Kindergarten to Year 2 areas, with flowers, vegetables and fruit trees,” she says. “We have a fair bit of rain here, so we want to catch that to use on our gardens so we can conserve water.” 

A future excursion is also planned to the new Return and Earn Centre at 61-65 Wharf St, so that students can see firsthand how their drink cans and poppers are recycled. Marilyn says she hopes this will be a way to help students see how caring for our environment can earn money for the school. 


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