More containers returned as part of scheme in Geraldton than any other area outside Perth

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson gets a tour of the Wonthella Return-It site from depot manager Ash Patterson
Camera IconEnvironment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson gets a tour of the Wonthella Return-It site from depot manager Ash Patterson Credit: Geraldton Guardian

Geraldton residents have demonstrated their superior recycling skills after the Wonthella container deposit scheme refund point was crowned the most successful outside of Perth.

Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson was in Geraldton on Tuesday to congratulate Wonthella Return-It depot staff on collecting the third-highest number of containers in WA.

About $2 million has been raised for not-for-profit organisations through the scheme, with total donations in the Mid West exceeding $116,000.

Ms Sanderson said more than 600 million containers had been recycled across WA in less than 12 months. “That would be 600m containers which would have potentially gone into landfill, particularly in somewhere like Geraldton that doesn’t have a wide access to recycling,” she said.

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“I think many regional towns struggle with their recycling ... and they see this as a great way to do that.”

Regional Alliance West corporate manager Leeanne Robertson said donations the community organisation received through the container deposit scheme had been allocated to several housing and emergency relief projects.

“Being a not-for-profit, it is difficult to source more funds for projects and we believe our housing project will be a huge benefit to the community,” she said.

“There is still a way to go before it will commence.

“But having funds that are not tied to a particular program and being able to make decisions based on community needs is very rewarding.”

Ms Sanderson said there would be capacity for more refund points in Geraldton, with people and community groups interested in opening new depots encouraged to contact WA Recycling.

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