Charities to collect as Canberra’s ‘cash for cans’ scheme starts on June 30

Glynis Quinlan 9 April 2018 23

City Services Minister Meegan Fitzharris and Peter Bruce, CEO of the scheme’s coordinator Exchange for Change ACT, announcing details of the scheme today. Photo: Supplied.

The ACT’s Container Deposit Scheme will start on June 30 with Canberrans able to receive a 10 cent refund for empty drink containers such as aluminium cans and plastic water bottles.

However, the prices of some drinks are expected to increase at least slightly as beverage suppliers look to cover the costs of the scheme.

ACT City Services Minister Meegan Fitzharris said there will be two types of collection points – a face-to-face express service run by social enterprise organisations or charities, and bulk depots that accept larger quantities of containers.

The locations of container collection points will be rolled out over the next couple of months as charities and social enterprise organisations come on board.

“I’m excited to announce that the ACT’s Container Deposit Scheme will start on 30 June 2018, which I’m sure will be good news for local sporting groups and kids who have already started stockpiling cans and bottles,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“We have always said we would introduce a scheme as quickly as possible to align with NSW, however, we want to make sure we take our time to get it right.

“Contract agreements have now been signed between the Territory and the appointed scheme coordinator, Exchange for Change (ACT) and network operator Re.Turn-It.”

Collection points and refunds

Ms Fitzharris said the Government is using the two different types of collection points to help make the scheme more socially inclusive and accessible for Canberrans.

“The scheme will provide opportunities for container refunds to be donated to charities and offer increased economic and employment opportunities for participating collection points,” she said.

People dropping off containers at the bulk counting depots will receive cash or be given money through electronic funds transfer, while the express collection points will provide a direct payment to a nominated bank account or a donation to select charities.

Beverage industry

“We also want to make sure industry are supported through this process, and this week we will introduce legislation to allow beverage manufacturers up to two years before they have to introduce ACT specific refund marking on their containers,” Ms Fitzharris said.

According to the CDS website, some beverage prices are expected to increase slightly because of the scheme but the ACT Government is considering price monitoring measures.

Which containers are eligible?

Container Deposit Schemes currently operate in South Australia, the Northern Territory and NSW, with the ACT’s scheme to be similar to the NSW one in terms of which containers are eligible for a refund.

Eligible containers. Photo: ACTCDS website.

Most empty beverage containers that are sized between 150 ml and 3 litres are eligible for a refund at ACT collection points.

Non-eligible containers. Photo: ACTCDS website.

The containers which aren’t eligible include milk, cordial, wine and spirit bottles.

The establishment of the scheme was part of the ACT Greens and ACT Labor Parliamentary Agreement, and has been welcomed by the ACT Greens.

“Last year South Australia celebrated 40 years since the introduction of the container deposit legislation,” Greens MLA and waste spokesperson Shane Rattenbury said.

“More than six billion containers have been returned under the scheme, with an average annual return of around 80 per cent. That’s a remarkable achievement and an aspiration for our city as we do our bit towards reducing waste to landfill.

“It’s especially encouraging to see that the ACT Government is taking this opportunity to learn lessons from NSW’s recent experience—including being able to accept crushed cans.”

For updates about the scheme and other information including the rollout of collection points, go to:

Are you keen to see the scheme start? What do you think of the arrangements for how it will work? Let us know in the comments below.

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23 Responses to Charities to collect as Canberra’s ‘cash for cans’ scheme starts on June 30
Bill Crowle Bill Crowle 11:04 am 06 Jul 18

We will take our cans and eligible bottles to the Salvos or alternate with Vinnies.. pity they don't take milk bottles, but I expect they all are well dealt with at the Hume recycling depot!

Maya123 Maya123 11:44 pm 10 Apr 18

As I see it, this is about reducing litter in the bush, streams, more ‘hidden’ corners of our city, where there is a lot of rubbish dumped. I am often shocked by how much rubbish I find in the bushland. However, I wonder how many children will be allowed to collect this rubbish. When I was a child it was natural to collect bottles to get money. Finding a stash of bottles was like wining lotto. Children are a lot more coddled these days.

A_Cog A_Cog 10:48 pm 10 Apr 18

Paul Cains… it does not add $4 to $5 per carton. It adds 10c to 13c per drink (depending on which company), so $2.40 to $3.12 per carton, or only $1.20 if you’re drinking longnecks.

The particular consumer that this price increase hurts is exactly the type that could do with drinking less booze or sugar, coz their healthcare comes out of my pocket. So as a de facto sugar tax, great!

A_Cog A_Cog 10:39 pm 10 Apr 18

The NSW scheme in Queanbeyan started mid December 2017. My kids and I slacked off for the first few weeks, got into it a bit, made some money, went on some weekend walks picking up bottles, made some more money, handed neighbours some milk crates for them to fill and us to empty weekly… made some more money.

Ive helped my kids EARN over $200.oo just from walking around, in a few months. It also encouraged them to work, persevere, think, set goals, be mindful and broaden their understanding of pollution and recycling. I’m sure the ACT will screw it up somehow, but the NSW scheme is great.

Gemima Mitchell Gemima Mitchell 3:04 pm 10 Apr 18

Yes, please. I have already paid my deposit, it's mine to reclaim. I have used the one at Quenbeyan, it works fine.

John Moulis John Moulis 9:58 am 10 Apr 18

Am I in a time warp? Have I been transported back to 1970 when the next door neighbour’s kid and I used to go door to door asking for soft drink bottles so we could go to Pearce Shops, get the deposit and buy a bag of lollies?

No, we’re in 2018 where every house has a yellow recycle bin collected each fortnight, where I can drive around the corner to a recycling station or go to the dump and have a choice of several bins where I can sort my recyclables into.

This container deposit scheme seems to fly in the face of all the education we’ve had over the years about recycling. Think globally, act locally – meaning that recycling is now within the reach of everybody so as to benefit the environment as a whole.

Incidentally, the return given to each bottle or can under this new scheme is ten cents. Exactly the same amount the next door neighbour’s kid and I received for each bottle we took to the shops almost 50 years ago.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 12:04 pm 10 Apr 18

    Your last paragraph highlights the problem that being 10c (1/-) 50 years ago was about one quarter of the admission price to the movies. In today’s terms, that’s $4.50 which is more than the cost of the contents.

    Today’s kids don’t even know what the neighbours’ kids look like although they probably communicate with their thumbs.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:53 am 10 Apr 18

They will end up being stockpiled, in land fill or waste to power incineration plants anyway as the global recycling industry has collapsed:

Any doubters who think it is not out of control should do a drive-by of the recycling facility in Mugga Lane (Hume end).

Karin Furtkamp Karin Furtkamp 6:49 am 10 Apr 18

Helps those less fortunate that collect out of trash cans, but generally the novelty will wear off for the general public...too lazy and time consuming.

    Bill Crowle Bill Crowle 11:07 am 06 Jul 18

    At least dump them in your yellow bin, and kids will always collect the readily seen ones in the street.

    We will probably see all the kids on their way home from school carrying rubbish bags and finding new routes home!

Tracy Hancock Tracy Hancock 3:55 am 10 Apr 18

I already recycle those things in my yellow bin, now I have to pay more and make a special trip to a drop off point in my car to get my extra money back. How is this better for the environment, the individual or the community? 😡

    Bill Crowle Bill Crowle 11:09 am 06 Jul 18

    Perhaps the light rail and the buses will have drop off points on board...

Sean Harvey Sean Harvey 11:05 pm 09 Apr 18

yes schemes been in place and working in a SA (since 1977) and NT for many years. Overdue.

Paul Cains Paul Cains 11:04 pm 09 Apr 18

Pay up to $4-$5 per carton of 24 pack. Not just beer, soft drink and water too. And the people that stuffed up NSW the recycling centres have been given the go ahead here?

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 9:25 am 10 Apr 18 buy water😮. It comes out of a tap and Canberra recently won an award for its water. If it's because you want to carry water, refill the bottles. No-one in Canberra should ever buy water. I didn't even last time I travelled to central Australia. I filled up bottles before I got there and carried them in the car; then refilled them whenever the water was acceptable.

    Paul Cains Paul Cains 3:25 pm 10 Apr 18

    Julie Macklin just saying

Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 9:54 pm 09 Apr 18

No. I’m happy to recycle in my yellow bin & don’t want to pay more to do so.

Cathy Beckhouse Cathy Beckhouse 9:09 pm 09 Apr 18

Nsw scheme has been a disaster.

Shane McMinn Shane McMinn 8:20 pm 09 Apr 18

It might mean a lessening of the queues near the Queanbeyan Return & Earn machine in Woolies carpark

Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 8:06 pm 09 Apr 18

What are the beverage manufacturers going to be required to do with the windfall that is coming their way in uncashed deposits? How has the ACT Government planned for this?

Paul Chubb Paul Chubb 7:19 pm 09 Apr 18

Idiocy. Only works with pristine containers.

    Shane McMinn Shane McMinn 8:18 pm 09 Apr 18

    Better than nothing at all Paul

    Paul Chubb Paul Chubb 8:22 pm 09 Apr 18

    Shane McMinn akuminium, pet and glass are already recyclable. My stuff goes in the re cycle bin already. People who don't do like me will probably not change their ways for 10c

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