“There are over 600 return points across NSW that provide community access to Return and Earn the NSW container deposit scheme. This includes hundreds of partnerships to host return points with not for profit, community groups and small business.

Our return point network is focussed on ensuring access to Return and Earn for the diverse and unique communities across the state.  What this has ensured is the opportunity for formal and informal partnerships to form for a variety of reasons.

Congratulations are in order for the Nambucca Heads Island Golf Club and their initiative to fundraise using the scheme. Well done!”

Out and About with TOMRA Cleanaway – Nambucca Heads Island Golf Club volunteers raise $25,000 through Return and Earn

A golf club has bounced back from financial woes and the risk of closure on the New South Wales Mid North Coast after volunteers raised more than $25,000 using the Return and Earn container deposit scheme.

A group of golfers from the Nambucca Heads Island Golf Club who call themselves Steptoe and Sons, after the 1960s television show, have been collecting cans and bottles since the program began in 2017.

Club general manager Johnathon Zirkler said the group started to collect containers when the club was having financial challenges.

“The club had some difficulties, as a lot of small clubs do,” he said.

“There were debts occurring, some not-so-good business decisions — not done in bad faith, but just not taking the right advice where they could.

“The club was close to closing its doors and a few of these guys got together and decided that they could make a difference and Return and Earn had started around the same time.”

Mr Zirkler said the container recycling scheme had allowed the group to raise funds for club projects after collecting over 250,000 empty drink cans.

“They’ve been out on the golf course collecting cans and bottles, getting 10 cents for each item,” he said.

“We’ve used the funds for a substantial number of things at the club now.”

Mr Zirkler said the money raised not only helped to save the club but has funded amenities upgrades.

“Originally, the extra money just went towards tee markers and flags, but it’s assisted with the revamp of the men’s and women’s bathrooms and now we are considering a hospitality hub on the course,” he said.


A Group Effort

The Steptoe and Sons recycling group has inspired others at the club to get involved with collecting the cans.

“We’ve probably got about 30 to 40 volunteers now that help out around the clubhouse and on a golf course and their help is invaluable,” Mr Zirkler said.

Danielle Smalley, chief executive of Exchange For Change, Scheme Coordinator for Return and Earn, said the efforts by the golf club volunteers were amazing.

“We love hearing stories like this, and they are just one of the hundreds of charities and community groups around NSW that have been raising money through Return and Earn,” she said.

Ms Smalley said 261.2 million containers had been returned across the Mid North Coast since the scheme began in December 2017.

“We did some research recently and found three out of four adults in the state are participating in returning and earning, so we are delighted with that,” she said.

“261.2 million containers for the Mid North Coast is right up there for a region, so people are really, participating strongly.”

This article first appeared here.

For more information on Return and Earn, please visit the website.

To find out about opportunities to partner with TOMRA Cleanaway, please contact us.