Sunday, 8 October 2017

Cleaning up the outback & making money.

We recently did a little bit to help cleanup Australia's outback which also put some cash in our pockets and gave us exercise too. So, a triple Win!

I regularly go for a morning walk and as I do I pick up some rubbish and dispose of it responsibly. Fortunately, in most parts of Australia I just get to pick up a couple of items    Unfortunately in Cape York Peninsula I started walking with a bag to carry more, and this continued into Queensland Gulf Savannah region. And then, we got to the Northern Territory (NT). Read on!

We hadn't long been in the Northern Territory (near Borroloola infact) when I realised how much 'gold' was lying around. By this I mean empty cans from a popular beer: XXXX Gold (pronounced: 'Four X gold'). 

The NT has a 'container deposit scheme' where if you return (most) drink containers you get 10c each for them. Glass bottles, plastic bottles, aluminium cans, juice and flavoured milk cartons have this refund scheme. If you look at the side of the containers it should tell you if the refund applies. 

So, I went picking up rubbish, and Hendrik soon joined me (and ended up doing far more than me). We didn't just pick up the refundable items but picked up other rubbish too in a bid to clean up the countryside. Most the discarded litter was refundable, so it seemed only fair to pick up the little bit of other stuff too. 

After the first morning I learnt to carry more bags.
After the first collection I learnt to start carrying more bags. 

A website tells you where the collection points are and a few of the rules. And I want to say that although each depot has final say on what they'll accept we found the depots we went to to be very lenient. But do have your recyclables sorted: plastic bottles separate to glass (for which a milk crate is best) and aluminium separate too. The depots prefer cans uncrushed (it helps their machines) but we picked up squashed cans too (and shook the dirt off and out of them) and had them accepted. It's at the depots discretion. 

We actually returned collections to a depot 4 times and made $180 ($AU180 = $US135 = €120, all approximate). With our combined hours considered I recon we made about $15 per hour. A 'real' job might pay us more, but we still reckon this is good money. 

Sometimes we'd park Blu and I'd go one direction along the road and H in the other. After an agreed time (like 15 minutes) we'd cross the road and turn back. Some areas are particularly good. Start doing this and you too will start to see the 'Gold' everywhere!

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