Crowds gather for the official R&E opening

The hard yards and persistence has finally paid and Crookwell can now officially adopt the reverse vending machine (RVM) as their own.

The RVM, which was installed on Friday, November 8, was officially opened by Member for Goulburn Pru Goward and members of the Upper Lachlan Shire Council today, December 5.

Member for Goulburn Pru Goward and Floyd Davies, IGA Crookwell.

Member for Goulburn Pru Goward and Floyd Davies, IGA Crookwell.

Students from Crookwell Public School, Crookwell High School and St Mary’s Primary School presented their recycling and sustainability programs to Ms Goward, and a crowd of around 50 people.

​Students at St Mary’s Primary School undertook a project to reduce the amount of waste produced at the school and introduced a “wrapper free Tuesday”, the record for the lowest score is seven, one student said. 

The three schools have also introduced recycling and compost programs. 

Crookwell Public School principal Michael Whittington said, looking after the environment begins with the students.

We’re spending $5 million on waste transfer and looking at transfer stations right across the Shire, we want a better environmentally friendly community.

Mayor John Stafford.

Ms Goward, officially opened the RVM and said that prior to the return and earn machine the community was being denied the opportunity to rid the area of 45 per cent of the litter stream. 

“This incredibly high impact part of the litter stream is out,” she said.

Councillor Brian McCormack said it was important for kids to realise that they can save money for themselves and recycle.

“I have grandchildren, and they now have a bin at the backdoor and they want every can, and what they collect out of the bins pays for their mobile phones.”

Floyd Davies said, the reason it took so long to get the reverse vending machine was because Crookwell fell under the population of 5000.

“It turned out to be a battle from there to get one.”

He also thanked the many contributors in the community who provided their assistance.

In the winter of 2017, a manual return and earn was established at the local IGA, and Mr Davies thanked employee Chris Anderson for his work on the program. 

We got it: Community support at the official opening of the RVM in Crookwell. Photo: Clare McCabe

We got it: Community support at the official opening of the RVM in Crookwell. Photo: Clare McCabe

“It snowed on four occasions,” Mr Davies said. 

Over the three days throughout winter that the manual scheme was open 12,000 cans were collected per week.

Now, with the installation of the reverse vending machine, there is 3000 to 4000 cans and bottles being recycled every day, Mr Davies said. 

Mayor John Stafford highlighted the councils commitment to the environment and reduction of waste.

“We’re spending $5 million on waste transfer and looking at transfer stations right across the Shire, we want a better environmentally friendly community.”

The RVM will operate between 8am and 6pm every day and it is expected to service the entire district. It  would accept up to 500 containers in any one transaction.

Crookwell Public School is the recipient of donations for the first three months, which means that people can donate their 10 cents per can or bottle directly to the school.