19 February 2021

Container deposit scheme hits new high as Canberrans continue to lead the nation

| Michael Weaver
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Container deposit scheme

More than 148.1 million containers have been recycled through the ACT scheme since it began. Photo: File.

Canberran’s are proving to be the best recyclers in the nation according to an annual report from the ACT Container Deposit Scheme which showed more than 75.5 million containers were returned for recycling in the last financial year.

Since the scheme began on 30 June 2018, more than 148.1 million containers have been redeemed, while the number of Canberrans using the scheme has also increased significantly.

“Participation during the year increased across the Territory, with 42 per cent of Canberrans contributing to the scheme which is an increase of 10 per cent from the previous financial year,” Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said.

“Canberrans are some of our nation’s greatest recyclers and this report confirms we continue to improve our recycling capability.”

The 2019-20 Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index Report also showed a dramatic difference in containers found in the ACT litter stream.

Only two per cent were eligible drink containers which was a decline of 17.5 per cent from the previous year.

Can in boxes waiting to be recycled.

Canberra’s craving for recycling has continued. Photo: ACT Government.

The ACT Container Deposit Scheme report also said 45 million containers were redeemed through the 21 collection points across the ACT.

This was a 22 per cent increase in the number of containers that were returned through the ACT network of collection points from the previous year, rather than being sent to the Hume Materials Recovery Facility (via household yellow bins) which received more than 30 million containers.

“By using the scheme and depositing eligible beverage containers, Canberrans can receive 10 cents for each container, raise funds for a community group or choose to donate to charity,” Minister Steel said.

“The environment is also a big winner with one of the goals of the scheme to reduce litter.”

More information and the location of the collection points can be found on the ACT Container Deposit Scheme website.

READ ALSO Government urged to extend Fyshwick waste ban bill to fragmentiser

Over the border in NSW, the Return and Earn program has had more than five billion containers returned since the scheme commenced in 2017.

It has also directly employed more than 700 people across the state while adding a valuable source of revenue for community groups.

NSW EPA executive director Liesbet Spanjaard said two out of three eligible containers consumed in NSW are now being returned, which equated to $500 million being returned to the NSW community.

“We quickly earned the confidence and trust of our community and this is translating into action as participation in the scheme continues to grow,” Ms Spanjaard said.

“When waste is seen as a resource that can generate environmental, social and economic benefits, it encourages people and community groups to tap into the potential of the bottles and cans they might have otherwise just thrown away.”

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