Cornelius Moon has had his world "turned upside down" with the removal of Bega's bottle recycling machines.
"Corny" is a regular sight around town, collecting bin-fulls of cans and bottles to be taken the the Return and Earn machines that were installed on the rooftop car park of Sapphire Marketplace four years ago.
Without warning, the machines were removed in recent days after Sapphire Marketplace owner Woolworths ended its contract with TOMRA Cleanaway as host of the reverse vending machines in Bega.
Corny's mother, Rita Goersch-Moon, said he was terribly upset.
"His world has been turned upside down," Rita said
"The bottles are his world. He loves doing it. He's out there all day.
"He came home to me yesterday and said 'It's all gone, the bottle return is gone'. It's very upsetting."
Rita said Corny's usual weekly rhythm involving gym visits and Tulgeen and InSync activities had been interrupted by COVID vaccination requirements. However, walking the town to collect cans and bottles provided welcome respite.
"He has been so good. He has his regular clientele who he picks up from.
"He collects two or three big rubbish bins per day and 'fed' the machine happily.
"He has been saving up for a trip to Germany and so excited about earning the money.
"Now he is very upset and does not understand why his life is changing so much.
"These people making the decisions should spare a thought for people with disability. I've been told 'you can just take them to Bermagui or Tura'. Corny is on foot and that's a 100km round trip.
"We could fill a bus with the cans and bottles he collects each week but then that would cost us more to drive there than it's worth."
It's understood TOMRA Cleanaway is in discussions with the Bega Valley Shire Council to determine a potential new location for the reverse vending machines. We will let readers know if we hear any more on that.
Until then, let us know what you think of the move by sending a letter to the editor using the form below.