Dubbo shoppers were checking out the new Return and Earn reverse vending machine outside Delroy Park Shopping Centre on Thursday morning, hoping it would soon be able to take their cans and bottles.
Some of them complained to the Daily Liberal about queues at the reverse vending machine on the edge of Victoria Park’s No 3 Oval.
“For a city with a population of 41,000 you would think there would be more of them,” said a man who wanted to remain anonymous.
Residents of the city and visitors appear to be embracing the NSW container deposit scheme called Return and Earn. At the same time they are frustrated at having to wait for long periods to use the machine in Victoria Park.
On Thursday morning Girilambone’s Kate Veech and her stepfather Dave Neville, of Dubbo, paid their second visit in two days to the only operating Return and Earn machine in the city.
Ms Veech told the Daily Liberal that the machine in Victoria Park needed an “express lane”.
On Wednesday she and her stepfather lined up to deposit 22 glass bottles and 65 cans worth a total of $8.70. “When we arrived there was a couple here who had 10 big plastic tubs that were full and after an hour of waiting we left,” she said. “We’ve come back today and there’s a man with a wool pack but he is really nice. He let us go first because we didn’t have much to deposit.”
Delroy Park Shopping Centre management advised on Thursday that power had been connected to the machine on its site but it was not yet operational. In 2017 the state government named a joint venture between Cleanaway Waste Management and recycling company TOMRA as the network operator of the scheme.
Queenslander Sylvia Beattie and her grandson Klay Mendham, of Dubbo, were among the shoppers to take a look at the machine at the shopping centre. “I think it’s a great idea,” she said. “It’s good for the kids. They can save all their bottles and cans and get the cash to put credit on their phones.” The visitor’s home town of Rockhampton had “nothing like it”. “They should do something about it because there’s a lot of recyclable stuff that goes to the tip,” she said.
Dubbo Regional Council is asking users of the Victoria Park machine to transport their bottles and cans in reusable containers and place “other recyclables and general waste in their household recycling and rubbish collection bins”. “If people use cardboard boxes, we ask them to take them back home and place in their own recycle bin,” a spokeswoman said. “Council will be looking to phase out the provision of bins at the reverse vending machine.”