Recycling club breathes new life into village activities 

When Michael Nixon and his wife moved into Goodwin Village Crace, a multi-unit retirement development, he was quick to see the opportunities for container recycling through ACT CDS.

“I realised that there was a lot of people living here, and I saw all these bottles and cans going into the recycling and I thought, ‘Here’s a chance to make a bit of money for the village’,” Mike said.

He organised a team of around a dozen residents, calling themselves “The Bottlos”, to collect and bag the containers. Some of the volunteers also take turns each week dropping the empties at the local return point in Mitchell, just a 10 minute drive away.

“We use the express drop. We just put sticky labels on our bags and leave them there, said Mike. “The drop off system makes it very easy for us—sorting out those admin things is important as people get put off if it’s too complicated.”

As well as setting up a dedicated container bin at the village, Mike said residents collect containers from outside the complex. “Some residents are in walking and cycling groups, and they collect bottles and cans when they go out. Other residents have families who save bottles at home and bring them when they come to visit.”

Together it adds up to a couple of hundred containers per week—or 56,000 over the past five years. The funds raised go back into life in Goodwin Village Crace.

“We support the groups at the village,” explained Mike. “We have an art group we help with equipment, and there are gardening groups here we help out too, as well as other special interest groups.”

He added that they also run social events. “When you’re retired, social contact is important, so we run functions where we provide food and drinks.”

Supporting the recycling team is important as well. “The Bottlos had a celebration and gave ourselves a pat on the back when we reached $5000,” said Mike.

Find out more about fundraising.

The ACT CDS is a partnership between the ACT Government, scheme coordinator Exchange for Change and network operator Return-It.