Eromanga State School.
Eromanga State School.

Southwest town of 40 people raises thousands through recycling

A town that proudly boasts that it’s further from the ocean than any other in Australia has used the Containers for Change scheme to raise funds for their school P & C.

Eromanga is located almost 1100 kilometres west of Brisbane and sits just 100 kilometres inside the Queensland – South Australian border.

Eromanga State School.
Eromanga State School.

The town’s population is less than 40 residents and only 11 pupils attend the Eromanga State School.

But that hasn’t stopped the school from returning more than 40,000 eligible containers through the Containers for Change scheme.

The scheme refunds 10 cents for every eligible container returned through a registered Container Refund Point, with $4000 claimed in refunds by the school’s P & C being put towards extra-curricular activities for the children.

Tim Proud, the local police officer does most of the heavy lifting for the school, which has devised a network to collect containers from several local businesses.

“A local oil workers’ camp approached the school and asked if we wanted to take their containers,” Mr Proud said.

“I go out there with the trailer about once a month and load up what they have saved.

“People in town have really been helping too.

“We have bins at the motel-caravan park and the tourists use them to dispose of their containers.

“There is an oil refinery here and we collect their containers as well.

“I also have a bin next to the police station that the locals use to recycle their cans and

bottles.”

Once a month Mr Proud makes the 220-kilometre round trip to the Quilpie CRP to return the

containers.

The officer said the extra items the P & C were able to fund were much appreciated by the children, with the remote location of Eromanga providing a different way of life to most other kids in Queensland.

The proceeds of the refunds help supply school uniforms, sporting gear and also subsidise a

big trip away for the children – something that seemed unlikely when COVID restrictions

materialised this year.

“We had some fundraisers but COVID has pretty much stopped everything, so this has been

our only source of fundraising for the whole year,” Mr Proud said.

“Everyone is happy to donate their containers when they know it is for the kids.

“It helps us buy school uniforms for the children, we purchase sports equipment they can use,

and every couple of years it funds a school camp in which they travel to a place they have

never been before.”

Ken Noye is the chief executive of Container Exchange, the not for profit organisation that

administers the Containers for Change scheme.

The scheme has recycled more than 3 billion containers across Queensland and delivered a

54 per cent decrease in beverage container litter in the state’s environment since being

established two years ago.

Mr Noye said Eromanga State School P & C had demonstrated the benefits that fundraising

through the scheme could bring to a community group.

“This is a wonderful example of how a community group can harness the power of local

businesses to generate funds through the Containers for Change scheme,” he said.

“It is everyone’s job to help keep the environment clear of beverage container litter by

depositing it either at a Container Refund Point for refund, or recycling it through a council-

provided yellow-top bin if it is available.

“Importantly, people can also benefit their local community groups while they are recycling

their containers for the good of the environment.”

For more information on Containers for Change, see www.containersforchange.com.au/qld


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