by Keagan Elder
THE Return and Earn scheme has become a handy side-earner for Shawn O'Rourke.
Working in the recycling industry, he has started taking bottles to the return vending machines and exchanging them for 10c apiece.
Mr O'Rourke said he was not alone in using the scheme to earn a bit of cash, with a number of people offering collection services on Facebook and splitting the earnings.
"It's not a bad idea,” Mr O'Rourke said.
He said the Return and Earn initiative had grown in popularity and there were always people lined up to exchange their bottles for cash.
Bottles have to be deposited in the machine one at a time.
Mr O'Rourke found the best way to insert containers was bottom first with the bar code facing upwards.
If the container is returned, it cannot be recycled through the Return and Earn initiative and should be recycled elsewhere or disposed of appropriately.
Containers that cannot be deposited for a refund include: plain milk containers, flavoured milk containers of one-litre or more, pure fruit/vegetable containers of one-litre or more, wine/spirit bottles, wine casks of one-litre or more, sachets for wine 250ml or more, cordial containers and registered health tonics.
More than 28 million containers have been returned since December 1. In its first month, 18 million containers were returned.