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Residents’ recycling initiative reaps rewards at Twin Waters

It’s National Recycling Week from 9th to 15th November and residents at Living Choice Twin Waters are doing their bit to “reduce waste and recycle right”. Resident Jack Green reports.

In October 2018, when Queensland decided to recycle containers and give 10 cents per eligible container, the Residents’ Committee at Living Choice Twin Waters asked me to investigate if it would be a feasible way to make some extra money for the SOKI (Spending of Kids Inheritance) Fund in the village. I contacted the local authorities and got all the guff and we decided as a committee to give it a go on a three-month trial. That was almost two years ago as we started in mid-December 2018.

We were resigned to the fact that if it was going to continue, we would take the reins and do the collections twice a week. Initially we used the village truck and when that was not available, the village buggy, however that was not always available so we bought a trolley from Bunnings and that is what we still use now.

The main collectors are me and Robert Bretton, but when we’re both away we have had the services of Janice Olley, Maree Christensen, Carl Maathuis, Terry Penn, Harry Clark and Ian Lawson.

On the odd occasion, when passing a home where we know the resident has a great sense of humour, we ask them to “Bring out their dead” and we usually get a good laugh.

Over the summer months we would collect about 12 to 14 bags a week and during the winter months somewhat less, about 6 to 8 bags. We hired a large blue bin so if at any collection we could not fill a bag, we would empty the extra into that bin and it has worked out well for us.

Fortunately, we have a great storage area that will hold about 45 of the orange (onion like) collection bags which hold approximately $3.50 to $5.50 worth of containers each (depending on the container size within).

Initially we were only charged $5 per collection and $2.20 a week for the blue bin, but recently they have upped the costs to $30 per collection and just $2.20 for the blue bin no matter how long between collections, however they are usually once a month or close thereto.

As of our last payment, which was to the end of September, we have netted $5,500 for the Residents’ Fund and all villagers will benefit from this income. You realise (and this is a net figure) that this sum amounts to more than 55,000 containers (not all alcohol but mostly) from our small village of about 220 residents. Now that most residents know what containers are applicable we should net about $3k a year.

It’s a pity that wine bottles are not 10 cent refundable as we would really make a killing, however we might need a bigger trolley and more hands on deck to accommodate such an undertaking. We know from checking our recycle bins that we have many wine drinkers in the village and why not, we all deserve it!

Robert and I look forward to doing the collections twice a week and will continue while we are able-bodied and we hope that will be a long time to come. Believe it or not, doing something like this in your village allows you to get to know practically all the residents and that can only be a good thing.

Some residents collect for their grandchildren and that is fine. It is not a compulsory collection and good for them and the kids. We also have some residents who have friends outside the village who collect them and give them to our collection. It all helps, and we are very appreciative to all who contribute.

I am virtually the only resident who has contact with Envirobank but that will be easy to pass on when the time comes. We do our collection rain, hail or shine and enjoy it (so far) and we look forward to the Residents’ Committee putting it to good use soon.

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