MAKING CHANGE COUNT: Temporary manager, Dominic Smithson, says the Chinchilla containers for change centre is the fourth largest container drop off point in Queensland.
MAKING CHANGE COUNT: Temporary manager, Dominic Smithson, says the Chinchilla containers for change centre is the fourth largest container drop off point in Queensland. Kate McCormack

Delivering big changes for Chinchilla

IT'S only been just over two months since Chinchilla's containers for change drop off point was opened but the centre has quickly become one of the busiest places in town.

Operated by Dalby-based group, Western Downs Outreach Project Inc., Chinchilla's drop off point has rapidly grown to become Queensland's fourth largest collection point receiving between 20,000-30,000 containers every day.

Temporary site manager, Dominic Smithson, said the centre has seen a tremendously positive response from the community.

"We receive anywhere between 250-300 customers on average per day,” Mr Smithson said.

"I had one customer just last week deposit $500 worth of containers with us. We've been really busy since the holidays.”

The colelction site and charity store is the brainchild of Rayleane Griffiths and Jason Vella, who saw great potential in the region.

"There aren't many drop off sites in regional Australia, but we have one of the busiest collection centres in the state,” Ms Griffiths said.

"Thanks to our bulk bag drop off option and having actual people counting the containers, our customers can be served much faster than if they were using an automated counting machine.”

Cassidy Farrel at the Chinchilla Containers for Change Depot.
SPEED MACHINE: Cassidy Farrel counting a customer's collection at the Chinchilla containers for change drop of centre. Kate McCormack

One customer busy depositing his collection of beverage containers said it's all about timing it right.

"I've been here once and the line-up to be counted started all the way down the other end of the car park. Coming in today with most people back at work was the way to go, there's barely a line now.”

The centre isn't just creating change in the way of some spare coins either.

The collection centre doubles as a thrift shop, allowing customers to bag a bargain with their hard earned containers for change cash.

"We get some struggling mothers come in, deposit their containers and then come through to collect some household items they are running low on, such as baby wipes or children's clothing,” Ms Griffiths said.

"The Western Downs Outreach Project runs a weekly food hamper delivery system and we use the profits made from the thrift store to fund this.”

The centre also offer twice weekly container pick-ups in Tara on Wednesdays and Fridays which has also been receiving overwhelming support from the community.

With this amount of recycling happening in the region the centre is already looking at making some changes to accommodate for the growing demand.

"We are only open 11 am - 4 pm Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday right now. We are looking into expanding our operating hours to seven days a week, twelve hours a day,” Mr Smithson said.

Chinchilla isn't the only Queensland town reaping the benefits of the new recycling scheme.

In the first month of Queensland's container refund scheme alone, over 50 million containers were returned with almost $5 million being made in refunds.

Chinchilla Containers for Change Depot.
COLD HARD CASH: The Chinchilla containers for change collection centre receives anywhere between 20,000 and 30,000 containers each day. Kate McCormack

It's important to note not every household drink container is refundable though.

The Chinchilla collection centre would like to remind customers they do not accept three litre milk, juice or cordial bottles or containers that have been crushed in a commercial can crusher.

It's also important to remember all containers need to be free of lids.

For larger quantity deposits, it's wise to call ahead to arrange for a bagged drop off as customers don't need to hang around waiting for their haul to be hand counted.

To make a delivery and receive your refund, the centre is located at 19 Malduf Street Chinchilla.

For more information you can call the Chinchilla Containers for Change centre on 1800 990 364.

To make a Containers for Change Scheme ID and receive your refunds straight into your designated bank account click on this link.