GIPPSLAND is once again leading the way, with more than 47 million containers returned within Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme since November 1 in the Latrobe Valley area alone.

Last Tuesday (July 2), VicReturn visited Latrobe Valley Enterprises (LVE) to learn how and why Latrobe’s container scheme engagement is so high and to explore the different employment opportunities available within LVE.

According to Mark MacManus, the LVE General Manager of Operations, LVE has been operational in Latrobe Valley for 57 years. He aims to provide meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities for people living with disabilities across several different business units.

Touch-and-go: Latrobe Valley Enterprise worker Kelly Williams showed the crew from Vic Return how simple it is to participate in the Victorian Container Scheme. Photograph: Katrina Brandon

“We have commercial grounds maintenance, sign making, recycling, and the container deposit scheme. We also manage a Tandara Caravan Park on behalf of the Latrobe Regional (Health),” he said.

“It’s a very diverse organisation, and it really gives our people purpose to come to work and build skills. Our end goal is to encourage our people and provide support to them so they can move out into mainstream employment. The container scheme really fits into that purpose.”

VicReturn Chief Executive, Jim Round, runs the scheme across the state. He said that in eight months, Victorians have returned over 600 million containers to 550 different return points, which is around $60 million back into peoples’ pockets around the state.

Easy: The Container Deposit Scheme has refunded more than $4.7 million back to the Gippsland community whilst also diverting drink containers from landfills. Photograph: Katrina Brandon

“Did we expect it to be adopted so quickly? No, but we are really happy and pleasantly surprised. Regional Victoria has led the way and has really embraced the scheme. It is an easy thing for people to do, to save their containers and do something good for the environment, and it’s a little bit per can,” he said.

“As we see more people using the scheme, sites like this will grow, and we will start seeing more job opportunities. We are really happy with how it is going. We haven’t even been in place for a year. Our one-year anniversary comes on November 1.”

Coming up to one year, Mr Round said there is no plan to stop the scheme but to see it grow throughout the community.

People will be able to continue participating in the scheme by heading down to their local depots and ensuring that they are depositing the right containers, which can be found at via