Liverpool City Council’s Whitlam Leisure Centre’s Return and Earn Machine collects 10 million containers


Belgravia Leisure staff at Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool

The Return and Earn Machine at Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool has achieved a massive milestone with the collection of its 10 millionth container, saving 600,000 kilograms of waste previously destined for landfill.

In just three and a half years, the scheme’s container collections have collected and recycled enough waste to fill 63 garbage trucks and raised funds for local community programs.

“The environmental impact of the Return and Earn program at Whitlam Leisure Centre is outstanding, and has resulted in savings in water use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy and waste to landfill savings,” said Belgravia Leisure’s Group Manager, Alexia Morgan.

“In fact, this milestone has avoided 1.206 million carbon emissions which is equivalent to taking 446 cars off the road for a year.”

Liverpool City Council Mayor Ned Mannoun said that he was impressed at the 10 million milestone and equally pleased funds were being channelled to under-represented local groups.

“It’s a win-win all around. We help the environment, and we help locals. I love it,” Mayor Mannoun said.

“The biggest congratulations go to everyone in our community for their efforts in bringing these containers to the Whitlam Centre for recycling. It’s fantastic that our community is proving that Liverpool locals care about our environment.”

The scheme has seen locals deposit a whopping 335,000 containers every month, with the option to collect a refund of 10 cents per container or to donate the 10 cents to a nominated charity, school, sporting club or community.”

A steering committee comprising of representatives from the City of Liverpool and Belgravia representatives work with the community to identify how the funds are dispersed. Mayor Mannoun said that to date, $50,000 has been raised supporting over 1,030 programs including:

  • An after-school care program for disadvantaged youth
  • A Gandangara Marumali Learn to Swim program for First Nations youth
  • A breakfast and FIT program for people experiencing disadvantage
  • A social pickleball program for seniors and youth
  • A refugee / CALD mums and bubs program
  • An after-school Learn to Swim program for the CALD community, First Nations and low-income families
  • An Afghan Women on the Move Learn to Swim program
  • A recreation and sports day for CALD youth
  • A Gandangara Family Appreciation Day for First Nations peoples
  • Capoeira (Afro-Brazillian inspired) marital arts for adults and children
  • Youth community hubs

The Whitlam Leisure Centre is partnering with TOMRA, technology partner for Return and Earn on-site. James Dorney, CEO of TOMRA Cleanaway network operator for Return and Earn and operator for CDS Vic West Zone also applauded the milestone.

“Achievements like this milestone can only occur through collaboration to deliver a vision. Belgravia Leisure’s support of Return and Earn is a shining example of how container deposit schemes can be harnessed to deliver positive, environmental, economic, and social outcomes.”

About Belgravia Leisure

Formed in 1990, Belgravia Leisure is passionate about connecting communities to leisure. Working in partnership with Government, not-for profit and the commercial sector, Belgravia Leisure has a strong track record of delivering diverse, accessible, and affordable health and wellness services across Australia and New Zealand.  Currently partnering with more than 70 Local and State Government authorities, Belgravia Leisure adopts an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable approach to operations across all its sites, with a focus on healthy communities today and in the future. Belgravia Leisure employs more than 5,500 staff in 230+ swim, sports, fitness, health and wellness and leisure facilities, and is part of Australian company, Belgravia Group, which also owns Genesis Fitness Clubs, Jump Swim School, Belgravia Kids, Coaching Zone, and Ninja Parc.

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