The Return and Earn container deposit scheme is a useful income stream for many local charity groups, including Bermagui Marine Rescue.
The Bega Valley Shire has recycled more than 33.7million containers to-date through the Return and Earn scheme, helping both the local environment and the local community.
Marine Rescue Bermagui protects the community enjoying the coastal region and is a featured charity on the return vending machine in Bermagui. The charity also has supporters who donate their container refunds in cash.
Unit Commander Caron Parfitt said this provided a useful income stream for Bermagui Marine Rescue. Container returns through Return and Earn generate around $1000 per year for the organisation, which goes towards fuel and maintenance for the organisation's rescue vessel.
As well as operating a rescue vessel, the organisation has a radio room, to monitor VHF channel 16 and listen for a mayday.
"Boats can log on with us when they go out and log off when they come back," Caron explained.
"As soon as they are overdue we follow up to make sure they are okay - it provides a good safety net for them."
This is all run by 35 local volunteers. All up around 20-25 rescues are carried out each year, of both locals and tourists.
Caron said as well as being a way to fundraise, the scheme had been a great way to get some publicity for the organisation - and to let people know about the services Marine Rescue Bermagui offered.
Caron said because so much of their work is carried out on the water, people don't always see them in action - and so the community doesn't always realise how important Marine Rescue is to saving lives on the water.
Marine Rescue Bermagui has renewed its partnership with TOMRA to be featured on the Return and Earn RVM at Bermagui Woolworths until April next year.
"We will promote the fundraising on Facebook and put up some posters around town," Caron said.
"The community wants to support us. I think they like to support the scheme itself, and then they like that they can use that to help another local organisation."
Return and Earn continues to deliver strong environmental, community and economic benefits to the NSW community. More than $24.5million has been returned through the scheme to charities and not-for-profits via donations and fees from hosting return points across the state.
To support Marine Rescue Bermagui, you can donate your container refunds when you deposit empty bottles and cans at the Return and Earn RVM at Woolworths Bermagui.
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