NEW South Wales residents have returned more than 40 million containers under the statewide Return and Earn container deposit scheme since collection points opened on December 1.
The Coffs Harbour community has strongly supported the scheme, with the Environmental Protection Authority revealing the reverse vending machine at the Hoey Moey Hotel has received 202,542 containers since it came online.
It is currently averaging between 13,000 - 15,000 containers a day seeing residents receive a 10-cent cashback from each bottle or container returned.
Reverse vending machines in Emerton and Casula are the most popular in the state, both recording more than one million returned containers, with Granville and Revesby on track to reach the one million mark by the weekend.
In addition, new automated depots, including the Coffs Container Return, are opening to manage large numbers of containers, processing 500 containers at a time.
"People across the state are really getting behind the scheme and, at the same time as claiming the 10c deposit, they are doing the right thing by the environment,” Mr Gifford said.
"Forty million is a significant milestone but we see it as a stepping stone; we expect the number of returns to continue to grow as more collection points open in the weeks to come.
"Already we are hearing about people seeing less litter in their local parks and sports fields, and we expect to see these environmental benefits increase as people do the right thing with their empty containers.”
More collection points are rolling out across the state each day, with individuals, sports clubs, community groups and charities all claiming the 10c return.
Information on these sites will be available at returnandearn.org.au