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‘They struck a really bad deal’: Charities in ruin over Return and Earn debacle

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The state’s major political parties are butting heads over the botched ‘Return and Earn’ scheme, that now appears to be hitting charities.

A collective of eight not-for-profit recycling organisations, who forked out a quarter of a million dollars to set up a mega Return and Earn site in St Peters, are now facing bankruptcy.

The likes of CleanUp Australia and Landcare NSW chipped in to get the major site on the Princes Highway, in the city’s inner west, up and running.

However, the recycling organisation, Citizen Blue, now says they could now be forced to shut up shop due to the failed scheme.

For the site to be viable, they need to gather 20,000 cans every day but they’re barely collecting half of that.

Jeff Angel from Citizen Blue tells Ben Fordham “one of the great virtues that was advertised by Return and Earn was that it would help charities”.

That, he says, hasn’t happened.

“We estimate that if Return and Earn worked fully, there would be $65 million… to a whole range of charities.

“That is an enormous boost to people who are helping the disadvantaged and the people who are helping the environment.”

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NSW Opposition leader Luke Foley has since responded to the call for help from charities now facing bankruptcy due to the bungled Return and Earn scheme.

“These organisations are people full of good will, who wanted to do the right thing here, who have wanted to make a contribution.

“But sadly, the scheme’s rollout has been so bungled that there’s a lot of losers here.

“These not-for-profits… have made a big investment… and the government can’t let them go under”

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NSW Environment Minister, Gabrielle Upton, called in after Ben slammed her for abandoning the charities that initially got behind the scheme.

Ms Upton assured Ben they will be meeting on Tuesday afternoon to explore how they can help Citizen Blue.

Despite this, Ms Upton says, “they struck a really bad deal, I’ve got to say. They got their numbers wrong.”

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