Deposited bottles are stacked into bins at the rear of the Return and Earn recycling station at the BP service station, Chinderah Bay Drive, Chinderah.
Deposited bottles are stacked into bins at the rear of the Return and Earn recycling station at the BP service station, Chinderah Bay Drive, Chinderah. Tweed Daily News

Behind the scenes: a look at NSW's new recycling program

SHANE and Helen Hurley think the Return and Earn facility at Chinderah is a load of rubbish and they couldn't be happier.

They are sub-contractors who are responsible for keeping the facility area clean and the container acceptors clear.

The network operators are Cleanaway and TOMRA and are responsible for the provision of the Return and Earns.

Twice a day, they clear the acceptors, take away containers that are not suitable or accepted as well as any cardboard cartons or bags used to bring in empties. It's almost a full time job but it's a good way of meeting people.

"We see some familiar faces coming in here on a regular basis among a lot of holiday-makers,” Mr Hurley said.

"We look after the external side of things while the rest of the process is fully automated. Once the containers are full, a computer sends a message back to the contractor's headquarters and they send a truck out to clear the bins and away it goes again.”

Mr Hurley said at first there had been some confusion among people not quite sure of what they could bring in and what wasn't acceptable but as more people were getting used to it, the amount of discarded rubbish was reducing.

A look inside the facility reveals a number of plastic bins being fed by a conveyor belt - as one bin fills a guide allows for containers to travel through to a fresh bin.

However, when the bins are all full the facility rejects any further containers.

And at this time of the year, that doesn't take long.



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