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Return & Earn container scheme was a victim of its own success!

31st March 2020

Maclean Lions, Return and Earn Project, commenced 18th August, 2019 with the last collection 25th March, 2020. Lions opened at their Townsend Shed each Wednesday and Sunday from 8am to noon.

At the beginning, in August, 3,000 containers (bottles, cans, etc) received on a day was considered to be very busy. The number of containers brought in to claim the refund, very quickly increased. Before closing, in March, Lions had the busiest day when they received over 33,000 containers to process in the 4-hour opening time.

People brought in their empty bottles and cans to claim the 10c deposit, and Lions paid out $55,636-20 in cash over the period of operation. In that time Maclean Lions processed 556,362 containers. That is more than half a million bottles and cans that did not finish up on the side of our roads. 

The Lions Club was filling a transport container with bottles and cans every second opening day. Two transport containers make a semi-trailer load, so two semi-trailers were being dispatched from Maclean each month to the state recycling centre in western Sydney. Between August and March, 27 transports containers of bottles and cans left Maclean.

The project grew so quickly that the Maclean Lions membership struggled to meet the demand. A call for community volunteers did bring assistance and the people who came were a great help. However, it was too few too slowly.

Even with help, Lions members could not maintain the demand. The Lions Club was also struggling to keep up with their many other projects in and around the community.

The Lions Club received and paid out the last deposit refunds just before noon, Wednesday, 25th March. The final transport container was filled, locked and sealed for collection.

To the volunteers who joined as “Friends of Lions” we say thank you very much for your efforts. Between the periods of furious work there was great comradery and fun. To our community, if you are ever looking for rewarding, good things to do you will find them with Lions.

Lion Brain Grieve