The ACT Government has moved to expand its Container Deposit Scheme to encourage more recycling as the Territory along with the rest of Australia grapples with the consequences of China refusing to take the nation’s waste.
Four new express return points for the year-old ACT Container Deposit Scheme have been announced, bringing the number of locations across the Territory to 17, with more on the way.
Under the Scheme, people can return eligible, empty beverage containers to return points and receive a 10 cent refund for each container that one can keep or donate to charity.
Eligible containers are ones that are commonly found in the litter stream, including most glass, PET, HDPE, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard (cartons) between 150mL and 3L in size.
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City Services Minister Chris Steel announced the new return points at IGA Farrer in Farrer Place (open 7:30 am – 8:30 pm), with the other three at IGA Evatt in Heydon Place (open 7:30 am – 8 pm), Anglicare Phillip in Colbee Court (open 9 am – 5 pm Monday- Friday, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm Saturday) and the Gungahlin Recycling Drop Off Centre in O’Brien Place, where a new express ‘Pod’ drop-off point in a shipping container is being trialled.
The Drop Off Centre is open 7 am to 7 pm every day of the week, and Mr Steel said early results showed it to be popular with the community, with up to 15,000 containers a week dropped off so far.
Mr Steel said Australia was facing a national waste crisis with recyclable waste no longer being able to be sent to China, and it was important it had a clean, uncontaminated source of plastic material that could be sold into markets and turned into other plastic products.
“The CDS has been absolutely critical in helping us address this national waste crisis in Australia and it’s also important to reduce the amount of plastic going into our environment, landscapes and waterways by encouraging people to pick up bottles in their neighbourhoods and return them to the collection points that we’ve opened,” he said.
“We want to increase the number of points over time, 18 by the end of this financial year and we’ll look at rolling out extra other points in other parts of Canberra in convenient locations.”
Mr Steel said all jurisdictions were moving towards these types of schemes in response to the Chinese policy, and the ACT was also looking interstate for ideas, such as the shipping container option across the border in Queanbeyan.
The Scheme also helped to have cleaner recycling outcomes.
“When there is a high contamination rate it makes it much more difficult to have usable plastic resources so this has been a really important part of addressing our resource recovery rate,” he said.
Mr Steel said more than 26 million containers had been returned so far and Canberrans were increasing their use of the scheme, finding it a great way to raise funds or donate to charities such as the Salvos and Vinnies while recycling at the same time.
Mr Steel said the scheme would continue to expand with more return points to be announced in coming months, with a focus on convenience and availability outside work hours.
Peoples wanting to use the express return options will need to register and create an account. Once an account has been registered, containers can be bagged and taken to any express return point. People can log in, print off labels for the bags, and hand the bags over with the refund credited to their nominated bank account in the next few days.
In addition to the express return model, immediate cash refunds are also available at all three ACT CDS depots – Fyshwick, Mitchell and Phillip.
Mr Steel urged more Canberrans to get on board and said the reasons to use the scheme were endless.
“Earning extra pocket money, fundraising for your school or sports group, or donating the proceeds to a charity organisation, are just some examples of how residents are using the CDS to raise funds,” Mr Steel said.
For more information, including container eligibility, how and where to return, and to create an account, visit www.actcds.com.au