Another year of growth, including new record volume months and ever increasing community support and participation has characterised 2021 for TOMRA Cleanaway and the NSW container deposit scheme, Return and Earn.

These achievements were delivered with the considerable support of our valued return point operators serving their communities throughout NSW. We would also like to acknowledge the support of our shareholders TOMRA and Cleanaway, our valued partners at Exchange for Change and the NSW EPA, who form the formal tripartite arrangement delivering Return and Earn.

We recognise and celebrate all our people coming together to deliver exceptional outcomes for the scheme across NSW. The success of the network is driven by a diverse range of services and support from our return point partners, Cleanaway’s truck drivers, our Customer Service Officers, the yellow gear operators at the Eastern Creek central sorting facility, TOMRA’s technicians and cleaners servicing the network of reverse vending machines. All of these exceptional services combined ensure our 620+ return points are ready and available for convenient community access. Without every individual combining forces and contributing excellence each day, TOMRA Cleanaway could not deliver a world class container deposit scheme for NSW.

Highlights of 2021 were again earmarked by the introduction of new return points in critical locations. This included sites across the state in metro and regional areas, such as;

In addition to these locations, we also welcomed new automated depots – bulk container processing return points, into the network. These bulk container return locations for the community were enthusiastically celebrated at Eastern Suburbs Return and Earn in Matraville, Kempsey Return and Earn and Tweed Heads Return and Earn. These sites further complemented our existing return point network and provide even greater opportunity for the community to Return and Earn. These three new locations will have the ability to process hundreds of thousands of containers each week for the scheme! Incredible assets to the community!

Fundraising and charitable outcomes continued as a focus with Major donation and local charity partner appeals were held throughout the year, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities in need. The Royal Flying Doctor Service SE Branch based at Dubbo benefitted from scheme partnership and raised over $140, 000 to continue their critical health care work in regional and remote NSW. The current charity appeal for the Starlight Foundation, Containers for Kids,  is raising valuable funds to support sick children with an ambitious goal of $250,000 has been set!

We could not reflect on 2021 without recalling the challenges NSW and Australia has experienced through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Lock downs in metropolitan Sydney LGA’s saw closures of portions of the NSW network. However, once lock downs lifted, container volumes bounced back at record levels with over 225 million containers returned in October 2021 and our operations teams demonstrated, once again, their ability to adapt to significant challenges caused by consistently high volumes.

Nothing can be achieved without the people and partnerships the NSW Scheme is built upon. Positive and collaborative partnerships with Government via the NSW EPA, and also with the Scheme Coordinator, Exchange for Change. Our heartfelt thanks go to our partners we work closely with each day at both organisations.

Our thanks also go out to every single citizen in NSW who has participated in the Scheme in 2021. Without Scheme users, Return and Earn would not be achieving such incredible milestones at the rate we are.

As Network Operator TOMRA Cleanaway is inspired and motivated to continue to deliver further improvement and opportunities for all citizens across the State, and remains focused and passionate about delivering even greater environmental and community outcomes for Return and Earn and the state of NSW in the year ahead.

On behalf of all of us at TOMRA Cleanaway, our best wishes go out for a safe and enjoyable Christmas and a fantastic 2022!