Clarence News & Info

From the Newsroom

Follow the sounds of smashing bottles

Emma Pritchard

To find the Grafton Container Return site, all you have to do is enter the Grafton Brewery Complex via Gate 5 in North Street and follow the sounds of smashing bottles.

As soon as you pull up, you will be greeted with a smile and directed where to park, so your recyclable items including cans, bottles and plastic containers, can be collected, sorted, and processed for payment.

The local business, co-managed by Kellie Gregor and Abel Burchell, has been operating for close to two years, primarily as a collection agency.

Funded by Tomra and Cleanaway, Grafton Container Return are proudly part of the return and earn scheme which encourages members of the community to recycle, therefore reducing the amount of rubbish which ultimately ends up in landfill, or carelessly discarded in the environment. 

As long as the recyclable item has the 10-cent icon printed on the side, Grafton Container Return will gladly accept it.

Admitting she is blown away by the numbers of bottles and cans which are delivered to the Grafton Container Return site on some occasions, Ms Gregor said its great to see more people are starting to recycle and visit the local business.

“Customers are able to get their 10 cents worth, and it does stop people throwing stuff out,” she said.

“A lot of people donate the money they receive from recycling to charities, which is really great, and we have a lot of regular customers who bring big loads in to recycle.”

Recycled items are automatically sorted into different groups by two large machines on site.

“The machines are pretty cool,” Ms Gregor said proudly.

“They basically have big revolving bowls with conveyer belts which go around so you can throw everything in, and it gets sorted straight away.

“There’s no hand counting, and you don’t need to touch anything, which makes the process very safe and hygienic.

“It’s also very fast, which is why a lot of customers bring items to recycle in bulk.”

A daily service provided by Cleanaway transports the collections from Grafton Container Return to Sydney, where they are stored prior to being made into new items, allowing the cycle to begin again.

Grafton Container Return also sell large, reusable chaff bags for $2, to encourage customers to reduce the number of plastic bags they transport their recyclable items in.

All the money raised is donated to local charities and organisations including the Grafton Base Hospital children’s ward, Minnie Water Surf Life Saving Club and Clarence Community Transport.

More than $10000 has been raised since May last year.

“It’s a pretty good amount we’ve raised and it’s also good to be able to give back to the local community,” Ms Gregor said.

“We’d like to encourage more people to come to Grafton Container Return because we do more than just accept recyclable items.

“We’re a part of the community.”

Grafton Container Return are open Monday to Friday between 7:30am and 4pm, and every Saturday from 7am and 12pm.

Make sure you start returning and earning locally today.