For the Hedland community, the new Containers for Change scheme is about much more than people getting a small payment for returning their empty cans and bottles.
Care for Hedland Environmental Association committee member Gloria Jacob is a passionate advocate for the scheme and she sees it having wide benefits right across the community, in terms of reduced litter and waste, much-needed income for community groups and charities, and extra pocket money for children as they learn about caring for the environment.
Containers for Change was launched by the WA Government across the State on 1 October, with a 10 cent refund offered for every eligible can, bottle or carton.
In Port Hedland, Care for Hedland is running the scheme with an enthusiastic group of staff and volunteers led by coordinator Sarah Glasson. The community response so far has been impressive, with just over 7000 containers delivered and sorted on the first day of operation. As of this weekend gone by, the 18 October 2020, 131,000 refundable containers had been collected!
“It’s been really exciting for us,” Gloria said. “I’m proud of the work we are doing to look after the environment and promote recycling.”
The recycling aspect of Containers for Change is a big deal in Hedland, as it is in many smaller regional areas, where there is no kerbside collection of recyclable materials.
“We are really thankful to the Government and sponsors for including Hedland. People here are just as concerned about the environment as they are anywhere, so this is great recognition of that,” Gloria said.
She paid tribute to Care for Hedland member, and Bloodwood Tree Association CEO Kelly Howlett who has long advocated for such a scheme in the town, and has previously run an unofficial collection service for recyclable containers.
Charities and community groups are likely to be among the biggest beneficiaries of the Hedland scheme.
Each month there will be a featured Group of the Month. People who want to donate their refund but are not sure where to direct it, can ask that their refund goes to the Group of the Month.
The Group of the Month for October is the Port Hedland Girl Guides.
Any community, sporting, service, religious and/or cultural group based in Hedland can apply to be considered as Group of the Month. Just send an email with heading Group of the Month to firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep an eye on social media channels for updates on the Group of the Month.
The Hedland container depot is at 15 Moorambine Street, Wedgefield, and is open Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm and Saturday 8am to 1pm. Care for Hedland also has pop-up locations at Port Hedland Turf Club carpark on McGregor Street and South Hedland Shopping Centre carpark on Forrest Circle. These spots are open only on Saturday 8-10am.
Find out more about the scheme and which containers are accepted here www.containersforchange.com.au/wa/