Be a recycling drought-buster

Help drought-stricken farmers by recycling

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By donating proceeds from their Return and Earn recycling, NSW people can help drought-stricken farmers.

TOMRA chief executive Ryan Buzzell with Rural Aid's Charles Alder.

TOMRA chief executive Ryan Buzzell with Rural Aid's Charles Alder.

WANT to do your bit to help NSW farmers and rural communities being crippled by drought? You can through the Return and Earn scheme.

Buy a Bale will become an official partner on reverse vending machines from August 27, allowing 10-cent refunds on eligible drink containers to be donated to those affected by the drought.

But you don’t have to wait that long to lend a hand.

Anyone who wants to donate immediately can use a special Buy a Bale barcode when visiting any of the 270 vending machines across the state.

You’ll find the Buy a Bale barcode on Return and Earn Network operator TOMRA’s myTOMRA Australia Facebook page or at

All you need to do is scan the barcode before recycling at the front of the reverse vending machine. The 10c per container refund will then be automatically sent to the drought relief fund.

From August 27-November 25, Buy a Bale will appear as an official donation partner on all reverse vending machine screens to give recyclers another way to contribute their funds directly to the relief fund.

Simply return your containers, then choose the “donate” option on the screen and select Buy a Bale from the list of four charity partners.

“After seeing the harsh and unrelenting reality facing our farmers, and being inspired by the wider NSW community’s eagerness to band together in times of need, TOMRA was keen to get involved and provide an easy way for people to help,” said TOMRA chief executive Ryan Buzzell.

“With an average of two million containers being returned every day across NSW, if everyone donated just one of every 10 containers they return, we would raise up to $20,000 a day for NSW farmers.

“So we’re encouraging everyone to give as generously as they can over the next four months.”

Every 200 containers returned will provide one small hay bale for farmers in need. Every 1100 containers returned will buy a large hay bale, and every 95,000 containers returned is the equivalent of a semi-trailer load of hay.

“Even at the best of times our farmers and rural communities are faced with some of the most severe conditions, so every donation, no matter how small, can mean the difference between devastation and survival,” said Rural Aid chief executive Charles Alder.

Make a difference

EVERY year more than 160 million drink containers end up as litter in NSW. Return and Earn aims to reduce the amount of litter by 40 per cent by 2020.

Most 150ml-3 litre drink containers are returnable if they are made from glass, plastic, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard (cartons).

Visit for full eligibility details.