Canberrans can ‘call’ collect with the Uber of recycling

Ian Bushnell 14 November 2019 9
Container Deposit Scheme

One of the drop off points for the scheme. The app means businesses and people who find it hard to get to one can have containers collected. Photo: ACT Government.

Time-poor businesses and households will be able to have their redeemable containers collected with the launch on Wednesday of a new phone app described as the Uber of recycling.

Recycling management company ReGroup’s Return-It Collect App will allow businesses and households for a fee of 4 cents a container to order a pick-up for the ACT’s Container Deposit Scheme.

City Services Minister Chris Steel said the new free app, which has been successfully trialled in Kingston and Gordon, would help people who might not have the time or the means to drop off their eligible containers at a return point.

The containers can be handed over in person or left in a safe place for the driver to collect.

He said the app would be particularly useful for businesses such as bars, hotels and restaurants which had large volumes of containers, especially bottles.

“We want to increase the number of containers deposited and we recognise that getting local business involved and making it easier for them to return large amounts of containers is the most logical way of doing this,” Mr Steel said.

“Having a collection service is a great way for business to return containers without the hassle of their staff driving potentially thousands of containers to the return points each week.”

The app operates a similar way to ride-sharing services, so users get real-time updates on when the driver will be arriving, when their containers have been collected and when they’ve been counted.

ReGroup managing director David Singh said the app allowed people to redeem the deposits on the containers without leaving their home or business.

He said it was being launched in Canberra because Canberrans are passionate recyclers and early adopters of technology, like Uber. “It’s the Uber for recycling,” he said.

The service would start with containers but hoped to also include mobile phones and textiles soon.

Mr Singh said the service would also help charities by allowing their supporters to have containers picked up and deposits remitted to a particular organisation.

He said ReGroup had divided Canberra into six segments and pick-ups would initially be weekly but that frequency would increase as the service grew.

Business take-up was high during the trials and a couple of Canberra-based hotel groups had already joined up to use the service across the city.

Return-It Collect will also allow users to track their environmental impact, in terms of energy and greenhouse gas savings as well as reducing waste to landfill.

Similar to the Express bag drop collection points across the ACT, customers need to ensure their containers are in a sturdy bag so that they can be transported back to the depot.

Over 41 million containers have been returned the ACT CDS network since it began in June 2018.

For more information, including container eligibility, on how to use and download Return-It Collect, visit

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9 Responses to Canberrans can ‘call’ collect with the Uber of recycling
Sophie Lindquist Sophie Lindquist 12:19 pm 14 Nov 19

Owly Mchoots these are the auto places

Vanessa Jones Vanessa Jones 11:33 am 14 Nov 19

Do the NSW style of depots, no plastic bags needed. Google return and earn.

Tania Tania 10:57 am 14 Nov 19

So now I’ve been told it’s 3c per bottle, and 4c per bottle. So I check their website and it says ‘a couple of cents per bottle’....helpful! 🙄

    Tania Tania 10:58 am 14 Nov 19

    If anybody else is frustrated...I just found it in terms and conditions. It’s 3 cents per bottle....

Vicki Herbert Vicki Herbert 10:42 am 14 Nov 19

More plastic! Bag all the plastics for recycling into plastic bags. Pathetic

Jemma Scarr Jemma Scarr 10:33 am 14 Nov 19

Caitland we should do this

Daniel Oyston Daniel Oyston 10:26 am 14 Nov 19

Now we are even too lazy to recycle 🤦‍♂️ Gotta save the planet but not if we have to put ourselves out.

    Lars Nissen Lars Nissen 6:37 pm 23 Nov 19

    An Uber pickup by suburb is better than 50 cars driving to the recycling place in Mitchel.

    Daniel Oyston Daniel Oyston 7:17 pm 23 Nov 19

    Lars Nissen Hows that? Is the Uber 50 times bigger than each car?

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