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Return and Earn comes to Northern Rivers campus

Two men watch as a woman feeds a plastics bottle into a recycling station


4 July 2024

A new Return and Earn machine officially opened at the Southern Cross University Northern Rivers campus in Lismore this week.

Local member Janelle Saffin MP, Southern Cross University’s Vice President of (Strategy and Implementation) Jack Williamson and Director Property Services Danika Head joined Return and Earn network operator TOMRA Cleanaway CEO James Dorney on campus to celebrate the new service.

The new Return and Earn machine is the third return point in the Lismore City Council area, providing locals and students with easy access to redeem their eligible bottles and cans for the 10c refund. 

“We’re delighted to offer a home for the new Return and Earn machine on campus. With 100 per cent of the materials recycled, it’s another step towards a circular economy in the Northern Rivers, something the University has supported for many years through research initiatives like the ReCirculator and our ZeroWaste research cluster,” said Mr Williamson.

Users of the new machine can print a voucher for their refund, which can be redeemed for cash at Woolworths, or they can receive an e-voucher or payment directly to their bank or PayPal accounts by using the Return and Earn app.    

Locals can also donate their refund to any of the 300 donation partners listed on the Return and Earn app or choose to support the current state-wide Return and Earn donation appeal for Little Wings, providing free air and ground transport for seriously ill children from regional and remote areas across NSW.

More than 11.6 billion containers have been returned for recycling through the network of over 630 return points across NSW since the scheme began in 2017, with more than $1 billion in container refunds.

“This Return and Earn machine is another example of our forward-thinking Southern Cross University being in step with its local community.

“Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus has been a safe haven in the aftermath of the 2022 floods and remains a focal point for much community activity as we rebuild,” said Ms Saffin.

Return and Earn has also become a key fundraising channel for many charities and community groups in NSW, with more than $54 million raised to date.

The Southern Cross University Return and Earn machine is on the Northern Rivers campus next to the University Fitness Centre and Gym near the community garden. The machine is open from 7am to 7pm daily.

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