If you were seven, what would you do with $500? Mawson Primary School student Luke Bamford decided to leave a new X-Box on the shelf and donate the money he raised recycling cans to the Lanyon Pantry to help provide emergency food to those in need.
After six-months of recycling cans from a motorcycle club his uncle was part of, Luke had $200 saved up in his piggy bank. But instead of spending it over the upcoming summer holidays, he told his parents that he wanted to help people with the money instead.
So, one weekend, his parents took him around to local stores and shops asking for donations and used cans and raised another $300, which Luke then decided to use to purchase groceries for the Lanyon Food Hub.
Luke, a Joeys’ Scout, says he wanted to help others just like the Scouts’ HOP motto – Help Other People.
“To do my Joeys’ Promise, the highest award in Scouts, they have to learn about Lord Baden-Powell [the Scouts’ founder] and write a prayer and do a community service project,” Luke said.
“I enjoyed doing it because it was fun … it feels good because people need help and support to have food and stuff like that.”
Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction Chris Steel says he is super proud of Luke’s effort and is encouraging more young people to become involved with the government’s Container Deposit Scheme.
Under the scheme, a 10 cent refund is paid for eligible empty cans and containers that are handed into 21 deposit locations across the ACT.
While Mr Steel admits the up-take has been slow, he is still hopeful the scheme will help increase recycling efforts across the Territory and has tabled plans to potentially expand the scheme in the future.
“We’re looking at expanding the scheme to include more locations and maybe include wine bottles and the like in the future,” Mr Steel says.
“We’re also looking at possibly increasing the refund about from 10 cents to 15 cents, but that could make cans and bottles slightly more expensive, potentially increasing the price of a beer carton by a few dollars.”