Browns Plains Bottles and Cans is celebrating six months of operation in March, processing over a million bottles and cans a month.
That’s over $100 000 going back to the community every month.
Commercial and Business Development Manager Andrew Lambert is proud of the progress the collection centre has made.
‘It’s becoming quite popular,’ he says. ‘A lot of people have given it a go for the first time, they’ve learnt about the scheme, they’ve learnt about how easy it is to make some money out of this and the good that it’s doing.’
Browns Plains Bottles and Cans operates as a collection point under the State Government’s Containers for Change program.
The program, which started in 2018, has already processed over three billion drink containers in Queensland. Mr. Lambert firmly believes in the benefits to both the community and the environment.
‘Containers for Change is just a remarkable scheme in terms of what it’s doing for the community.’
‘For one, it’s reduced litter. It also reduces landfill. And it recognises these precious resources that have been thrown in the ground for so many years.’
Once the bottles are processed, they are shipped to various sites for recycling. Glass can be crushed down and used as road base and both aluminum and plastic have an ever-growing list of potential uses.
These range from prosthetics for animals, to wheelchairs, to decks made entirely from plastic lids.
Mr. Lambert encourages schools and businesses to get involved, with huge savings being returned to the community to be reinvested.
‘We are trying to link ourselves with various community groups to be able to work together and to make sure that these cans are getting caught and somebody’s getting the benefit for it. Whether it’s sporting clubs, schools, that sort of thing.’
Browns Plains Bottles and Cans have partnered with Marsden State High School, who lead the State’s premiere high school sustainability program.
The centre has taken inspiration from the school’s program, reducing its own landfill waste from forty-two rubbish bins a week to two.
‘It becomes addictive,’ explains Mr. Lambert. ‘It’s not something I ever saw myself doing but now I couldn’t see it any other way.’
According to Mr. Lambert, the key to the program’s success is hiring local employees to sort and count the containers, rather than relying on machines.
‘We employ as many local people as we can, we’ve got about fifteen on the staff at the moment and growing.’
‘Friendly staff, and being really clean and efficient, that’s what matters to people.’