By STEPHANIE TIMOTHEOU.
According to a northern suburbs bottle depot, people are making hundreds of dollars per year by accumulating empty bottles and cans.
However, returning plastics and aluminum is not just about the extra cash.
With approximately 31 depots located across South Australia, bottle collection warehouses received thousands of bottles per year, which assisted in reducing pollution within the state.
Owner of the northern suburbs depot, Phillip Arthur said although the rates had increased since late 2008, bottle collecting was not only about making money, but helping the environment.
“I don’t think people can exactly make a living from it,” Mr Arthur said.
“It’s more about the product being returned through a system that takes it out of the waste stream.
“The system has been in place for many years to reduce the waste load and to have a system in place where people buy a product with a deposit included.”
16-year-old Daniel Butcher who collected bottles for extra pocket money, said he was hundreds of dollars richer because of the empty bottles he exchanged for monetary value.
“I take my bottles in every six months and receive about 200 dollars which I use to buy console games,” Mr Butcher said.
“I never thought about the environmental factor, but I suppose it [bottle collecting] does have a large impact on the world.
“I just thought it would be a good idea to get money for them instead of throwing them away, so now I use that money for extra luxuries.”
However, Mr Arthur said although the rates had risen, bottle collecting wouldn’t dramatically increase people’s incomes any time soon.
“It’s great for children to return bottles to learn about recycling and the environment, but for those people such as the homeless, it definitely won’t cut it as a stable income.”
Business founder of Zuma Café, John Veloudos, collected bottles for petty cash, but most importantly for the wellbeing of the environment.
“Our café goes through hundreds of bottles per day,” Mr Veloudos said.
“Instead of binning them, we recycle them in the hope that this will help to keep our city clean.
“Every bottle and every can adds up and at the end of the day; it’s definitely worth it.”
Mr Arthur said at 10 cents per bottle, more people were returning their plastics for a good cause.
“People are a lot more recycle conscious these days,” he said.
“The records are showing that the return rates have increased since it’s gone up to 10 cents so it’s a very positive thing for the state.”
He said bottle collectors were helping the future of a clean and non-toxic environment.