Robert Penn, Chris Penn and Narelle O'Donell from the Ballina Hospital Auxiliary, ready to collect containers with their TOMRA bags.
Robert Penn, Chris Penn and Narelle O'Donell from the Ballina Hospital Auxiliary, ready to collect containers with their TOMRA bags.

Recycling and fundraising back in action at Ballina Hospital

The Ballina Hospital Auxiliary is back recycling containers and fundraising for the Ballina District Hospital.

Members Robert Penn, Chris Penn and Narelle O'Donnell said they were happy to be allowed to be inside the hospital again after COVID restrictions stop them from being able to enter.

The group has brought back the TOMRA bags into the hospital.

The bags allow them to recycle containers and fundraise for much-needed medical equipment.

“We have been shut down since March 2020, so we haven’t been able to do anything from the hospital, but we are starting again,” Mrs Penn said.

“During this COVID break, people have been kind enough to continue donating money from their own recycling via the TOMRA machines in Ballina.

Robert Penn, Chris Penn and Narelle O'Donnell from the Ballina Hospital Auxiliary, ready to collect containers with their TOMRA bags.
Robert Penn, Chris Penn and Narelle O'Donnell from the Ballina Hospital Auxiliary, ready to collect containers with their TOMRA bags.

“In the last six months, we have received $600 from people’s donations, plus our own collections from caravans parks and friend and family we have anotehr $800.”

The volunteer said having the TOMRA bags inside the hospital allows patients and staff to be part of the fundraising effort.

“Nurses and cleaners put all the bottles and containers in these TOMRA bags, we collect them and take them to the Return and Earn Reverse Vending Centre at 42 De-Havilland Crescent in here in Ballina, and then that comes back in the form of equipment for the hospital,” Mrs Penn said.

The auxiliary team is happy to be back at their hospital kiosk.

Mrs O’Donnell said, on a good year, the group can fundraise more than $100,000 for the hospital.

“We have street stalls and other events, the recycling is an extra that doesn’t cost us anything,” she said.