IN THE six years the Return and Earn recycling scheme has been operating in Leeton, residents have recycled more than 28 million items, namely bottles and cans. The figures have been released as the initiative marks its success right across the state. Leeton's operation is located within the Woolworths precinct in Palm Avenue and is always busy with residents recycling their bottles and cans. Each can and bottle recycled is worth 10 cents each and residents can choose to have that money returned to them in different ways or even donated to charity. Since operations started in Leeton, more than 28 million bottles and cans have gone through the container deposit. More than 14 million of that was aluminium cans, close to seven million was glass bottles, and the remaining numbers accounted for other items recycled at other return schemes that Leeton Shire Council participates in. In Griffith, that number totalled more than 61 million, while in Narrandera the number was just over eight million. Across the state, eight out of 10 NSW adults have participated in the scheme, with more than 10.4 billion drink containers returned for recycling through its statewide return point network. Launched in December 2017, Return and Earn is a NSW government initiative delivered in partnership with scheme co-ordinator Exchange for Change and network operator TOMRA Cleanaway. Exchange for Change chief executive officer Danielle Smalley said $1.04 billion in container refunds back had gone back into people's pockets, with 960,344 tonnes of materials being recycled. "Importantly Return and Earn is NSW's leading product stewardship scheme, funded by the beverage industry," she said. "The clean stream of materials it generates allows for new bottles and cans to be made from re-used plastic, aluminium and glass, contributing to a growing domestic circular economy. "Even though it's been successful, everyone involved in delivering the scheme remains focused on continually improving and innovating to make it even easier for people to participate and increase the number of containers recycled." New return points and return point formats continue to be rolled out across the state with 618 return points now available in NSW, including reverse-vending machines, automated depots and over-the-counter return points.