WHEELING: Kennedy Masonic Lodge Alf Pearce, Bowen Meals on Wheels president Chris Storrie,  Kennedy Masonic Lodge Robert Anderson and Bowen Meals on Wheels chef Tamarra Robson.
WHEELING: Kennedy Masonic Lodge Alf Pearce, Bowen Meals on Wheels president Chris Storrie, Kennedy Masonic Lodge Robert Anderson and Bowen Meals on Wheels chef Tamarra Robson. Supplied

DOUBLE DOWN: Recycling scheme skyrockets community donations

A LOCAL organisation has been able to more than double its charitable donations after the introduction of the containers for change scheme late last year.

The Kennedy Masonic Lodge, located in Bowen, has been able to donate $33,000 to charity in 2019, with more still to come as the year progresses.

Traditionally the organisation has raised its fundraising dollars through a combination of scrapping aluminium cans and old batteries.

"It all started when one of our members noticed that a lot of the trawlers were coming in with their cans and they were just going to landfill," said Kennedy Masonic Lodge member Robert Andersen.

"We used to deal wholesale with our cans and received approximately one cent per can."

The majority of the cans came from members of the public as well as local businesses that would collect and keep their cans for the organisation to recycle.

Mr Andersen said that since the induction of the state governments containers for change scheme the organisation has been able to increase their fundraising events as their can value has increased ten-fold.

He said that they had experienced a decrease in the number of cans donated but it was outweighed by the increase in returns.

"People and businesses are keeping their cans as it's so easy for them to recycle their own now," he said.

"We've still got a lot of local donations coming in with people collecting all the cans they can and saving them for us.

"We're very happy to say that with the scheme we've almost doubled last years fundraising amount, so it's been a good year for donations."

At the organisations annual installation dinner held in July, a $10,000 donation was made to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and $5,000 was donated to the RACQ CQ Rescue Service.

A donation of $15,000 has also been made to Bowen Volunteer Marine Rescue towards the purchase of a new rescue vessel, as well as $3000 to the Bowen branch of Meals on Wheels.

Mr Andersen said that they pick charities to donate to that make a positive impact on the whole community.

"We can't do it without the generosity of the people of Bowen," he said.

"The Brethren of Kennedy Masonic Lodge would like to thank all those who have given to their recycling programme and contributed towards these donations."


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