Containers for change boosts local charity
It’s been one year of a scheme turning trash into treasure, which in turn has helped worthy community causes, such as programs to help the homeless in Geraldton.
The State Government’s Containers for Change scheme has seen 765 million containers collected across WA, each returning a 10¢ refund, in its first year.
In the Mid West alone, about 19 million containers have been saved from landfill, with funds going straight back into the community.
Regional Alliance West is one group to benefit from the scheme, raising money through donated containers to fund an upcoming program to assist the homeless in Geraldton.
“Usually with not-for-profits, you get government grants, and there’s a contract you have to deliver to,” operations manager Chris Gabelish said.
“With Containers for Change, it’s untied money, so we get to decide how best to utilise the funds.”
RAW receives funds directly from Return-It, the company that operates Geraldton’s refund depots, as part of a profit share initiative. When containers are handed in, a portion of profits is split between a range of organisations.
“Obviously (Return-It) have to make money, we’re just glad that they’re generous enough to share some of it with us,” Mr Gabelish said.
Premier Mark McGowan highlighted the 733 jobs created by the scheme, including 76 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and 227 for long-term unemployed and those living with a disability.
“It’s delivered for the environment, for local jobs and for community groups and charities,” he said.
Western Australians use more than 1.3 billion drink containers every year.
When Containers for Change started, about 70 per cent of containers went to landfill. According to Acting Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, 60 per cent of eligible containers are now being recycled.
“This is a fantastic achievement,” he said. “By returning 765 million 10¢ containers to Containers for Change refund points Western Australians have fully realised the potential of each container.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails