Think Like A Wolf: TOMRA ‘Return and Earn’ Container Deposit Scheme

When Royal Wolf was contracted by TOMRA in August 2017 to deliver reverse vending machine kiosks for the NSW Government’s ‘Return and Earn’ container deposit scheme, the team knew this project was unique.

It required 700 bespoke shipping containers, with modifications including electrical fittings, ceiling insulation and awnings to protect customers in rain, hail or shine.

The scheme aimed to reduce the volume of litter across NSW, by allowing beverage containers to be recycled through a ‘clean loop’ system installed in a modified shipping container. Members of the public were invited to recycle empty bottles and cans, in return for cash vouchers or a direct refund.

Adrian Russell, National Production Manager at Royal Wolf, has been with the business for over 14 years, so he’s seen a lot of shipping container modifications over the course of his career.

“TOMRA was a very special and unusual product,” he says. “A lot of people were involved with the project - designing, drafting and engineering. It had to be incredibly collaborative, and there was a lot of safety involved. Staffing levels went up from around nine trades on the floor to about 40, so we could deliver the required 50 modified containers a week.”

The video below highlights the successful partnership between Royal Wolf and TOMRA, and explains further how the containers were developed and delivered at high volume. 

The collaboration between Royal Wolf and Tomra has been a tremendous success.

“We delivered 700 units in a very short time frame,” explains Royal Wolf CEO Neil Littlewood. “It really shows the unique focus we bring to bespoke solutions, that can then be built on a scale.”

Ryan Buzzell, President of TOMRA Collection Solutions Australia, was impressed by Royal Wolf’s efficient turnaround of such a complex and large-scale project.

“Royal Wolf put significant resources toward ensuring the high quality of the containers, and also offered us a wide range of customisation options, which is what we needed,” said Mr Buzzell. “The best thing about working with Royal Wolf was their attentiveness to us as a priority customer. They were fully committed to our needs throughout the process.”

But the best part for Adrian Russell is the reward that comes with creating a product that the end users really appreciate.

“When you travel around NSW, people tell you about how they’ve been using the recycling facility,” he says. “A lot of people use them almost religiously.”

“It’s really rewarding.”

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