Couple pay for their wedding by recycling discarded bottles

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Frugal couple pay for their wedding by recycling discarded bottles – and now plan to use the same method to fund their honeymoon and house deposit

  • Ellie Toohill and Darren Auth Duke have made up to $10,500 recycling  
  • The Sydney couple collect empty bottles as part of a container deposit scheme
  • Have transformed their backyard with barrels to separate their recycling
  • They plan to use the same method to fund their honeymoon and house deposit 

A money savvy couple has taken the saying ‘something old, something new’ to heart by recycling bottles to pay for their wedding. 

Ellie Toohill and Darren Auth Duke, from western Sydney, have capitalised on the return and earn recycling scheme which offers a 10 cent refund per container. 

The lovebirds drove around Sydney collecting bags of rubbish to deposit in a bottle vending machine to fund their big day.

The couple pocketed about $10,500 to pay for their reception and wedding rings and hope to also fund their honeymoon. 

Ellie Toohill and Darren Auth Duke (pictured) have paid for their wedding while cleaning up the environment

Ellie Toohill and Darren Auth Duke (pictured) have paid for their wedding while cleaning up the environment

The couple earned $7581 on an app which tracks their recycling progress and about $3000 in printed receipts.

‘A lot of people gave us a good laugh and said, ”you won’t get there” but look where we are now,’ Darren told A Current Affair. 

The bride and groom-to-be also received bottle donations from their neighbours after they sent out flyers raising awareness of their funding project. 

Their backyard has been set up to facilitate the time-consuming operation, with several different barrels needed to separate various parts.  

Ring-pulls from cans are removed and stock piled together to be melted down to make wheel chairs.   

Plastic bottle tops become prosthetic limbs.  

The financially-savvy couple has turned their backyard into an operation site to sort different container parts

The financially-savvy couple has turned their backyard into an operation site to sort different container parts

ELIGIBLE DRINK CONTAINERS

  • Most empty 150-millilitre to 3-litre drink containers are eligible for a 10-cent refund when presented to an approved NSW collection point 
  •  Container materials that may be eligible for a refund include:
  •  PET 
  • HDPE 
  • Glass aluminium
  • Steel liquid paperboard

Ellie and Darren set up Facebook page, A recycling wedding Sydney, in May, to blog their process of lucratively helping the environment. 

The profit from every last bag of bottles to go into the machine is donated to one of the charities listed on the screen. 

The container deposit scheme began rolling out across NSW on 1 December 2017 and is the largest litter reduction scheme ever introduced into the state. 

Drink container litter makes up 44% of the volume of all litter in the state and costs more than $162 million to manage. 

Bottle lids are separated and melted down to become prosthetic limbs

Bottle lids are separated and melted down to become prosthetic limbs

 Most beverage bottles between 150 millilitres and 3 litres in volume are eligible for the refund in NSW, with the exception of wine, spirits, cordial and plain milk containers. 

The scheme is available in every state except Victoria.  

 

CONTAINERS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR A REFUND

  • Plain milk or milk substitute containers 
  • Flavoured milk containers of 1 litre or more pure 
  • Fruit or vegetable juice containers of 1 litre or more 
  • Glass containers for wine and spirits  
  • Casks (plastic bladders in boxes) for wine and casks for water of 1 litre or more 
  • Sachets for wine of 250 millilitres or more
  •  Containers for cordials, or concentrated fruit and vegetable juices 
  • Registered health tonics 
  • These exceptions apply to the New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territory container deposit schemes

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