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NSW beaches got a little cleaner on Monday as Surf Life Saving NSW announced more than 70 surf clubs across the state have already registered their intention to become ‘donation sites’ for the NSW Government’s ‘Return and Earn’ Container Deposit Scheme initiative.

Enabled by a key partnership with long-standing Australian recycling innovator, Envirobank Recycling, community members can take eligible drink containers within the Scheme to a local surf club and donate the 10-cent per container proceeds to Surf Life Saving.

As the scheme continues to progress throughout the year, more of the state’s 129 surf clubs are anticipated to come on-board.

Environment Minister The Hon Gabrielle Upton MP applauded the collaboration with Envirobank Recycling and highlighted the Surf Life Saving ‘donation sites’ as a smart way charities can benefit from the Scheme.  

”Return and Earn is a win for the environment and an opportunity for charities and community groups to also benefit,” said Minister Upton.

“Not only do surf club ‘donation sites’ enable people to help one of the state’s largest volunteer community organisations, they also provide additional and convenient drink container collection points for everyone.”

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO, Steven Pearce, said both the program and partnership with Envirobank Recycling provides an entirely new way for club and community members to raise funds for the vital services provided by volunteer surf lifesavers.

“For every drink container donated by a member of the public, 8-cents goes directly to the local surf club where the containers are deposited. The remaining 2-cents will be used by Surf Life Saving NSW to fund community education programs, help train lifesavers and provide vital lifesaving and rescue equipment to our clubs” said Pearce.

“Thanks to the generosity of our members and the community, if we capture just a fraction of the estimated 1.6 billion drink containers to be recycled over the next 20 years through the scheme, I have no doubt it has the potential to become a long-term source of fundraising,” said Pearce.

According to Narelle Anderson, Managing Director and founder of Envirobank Recycling, in other states where container deposit schemes are already operational, charitable donations comprise the major component of the public’s reimbursements.

“Envirobank has been a long-term network operator in the Northern Territory Scheme and it’s evident the program is much more than a litter collection initiative,” said Anderson. “With the right partnerships in place the Scheme has the potential to raise substantial funds for many charities that deliver the vital services we need in our communities.”   

“We see first-hand the effects of rubbish and pollution on our beautiful beaches and waterways. Working with Envirobank we’re proud to help protect our environment, while offering the potential to deliver Surf Life Saving Clubs some much-needed funds,” said SLSNSW CEO, Steven Pearce.

How Surf Life Saving Club ‘Donation Sites’ will work

  • Participating Surf Life Saving Clubs will host secure and safe donation ‘cages’ on-site.

  • Club and community members will be provided environmentally-friendly and protective bags made from recycled PET to collect and store containers at home, school and/or work.

  • At club-designated times, community members can bring collected containers to the local surf club, for drop-off and donation.

  • When cages are full, Envirobank Recycling will send a mobile collection truck to collect all containers and empty the cages.  Donation proceeds will be recorded with SLSNSW who will dispense the funds to the participating clubs.

  • Clubs will accept aluminium cans and plastic PET bottles. Containers must be empty with lids off.

SLSNSW envisages that over time, drink container donations will provide a reliable source of fundraising income for surf clubs to aid their lifesaving operations.  Roll out of donation sites is currently underway with many to be operational in the coming weeks.  Updates will continue to be provided. 


Tuesday 16 January 2018