New Return and Earn operators hit the ground running

Scott Evans and Aaron Cain with the massive haul of cans and bottles taken on just the first weekend of operation of the new Cobar Return and Earn depot.

The Return and Earn collection program is back up and running in Cobar with new operators taking over the enterprise last Saturday from a new site.

Locals Aaron Cain, Leisa Urquhart and Scott and Chloe Evans took over the rei\ns after Bryan’s Empire Hotel ceased trading as the Cobar collection point in early July.

Mr Cain said after expressing an interest in  running a new Return and Earn depot, staff from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) came out to inspect their site to see if it would be suitable.

“Then they came back to us to say we had the contract,” he said.

The new Cobar facility opened its doors for the first time last Saturday with people lined up for 45 minutes to get cash for their cans.

Mr Cain said after the weekend, they have almost filled one shipping container with 30,000 cans and bottles. (Each shipping container can hold up to 32,000 cans and bottles.)

Mr Cain explained the process.

“People bring in their cans and/or bottles and we count them out.

“The cans and bottles must be clean and not have any dirt or liquids inside them and they can’t be broken or squashed.

“Dirt can cause a lot of damage to the machines down the line,” Mr Cain said.

Mr Evans said they have a number of rules they have to adhere to and can only take approved containers, which are all marked as suitable for Return and Earn.

“We had 500 rejects in the first 30,000,” he said.

“Some people were bringing non-compliant items through so we have to tell them we can’t accept them,” Mr Cain said.

Once the shipping container is full, it gets collected and replaced with an empty one, a process of which, Mr Cain said, can take anywhere from 72 hours up to two weeks.

He said they are contracted to open for a minimum of eight hours per week however he said the Cobar Return and Earn will be open for nine hours each week.