genuine recycling effort or price gouging?

toriness 1 November 2010 14

i am loathe to gripe about those involved in efforts to maintain a solid music scene here in canberra, and i am truly grateful to those who run events so save us all the pain of travelling to sydney or melbourne to see some good bands. but i do have a complaint about a new trend in the already OTT prices of food drinks etc at events – the ‘recycling deposit’ on drinks at stonefest at the university of canberra on Saturday.

the deal is you get charged $1 per can under the guise of ‘recycling deposit’, which you can get back when you take the cans back to the bar – but only as a refund on any other drinks purchased. of course in buying those drinks you pay another $1 can a drink so essentially at the end of the day you get ripped off (by not being able to get back your deposit) however many cans you bought in the last round. seriously, you’re already charging $10 a can so to whack another buck on top in the name of recycling? also because you couldn’t take the cans back and get your $1 back you paid as a ‘deposit’. this is surely illegal – by not enabling customers to get back a ‘recycle deposit’ without spending more money/buying more alcohol.

At Saturday’s stonefest there was also a limit of 4 cans returned at one time although the first trip back to the bar i did manage to return 14 cans (12 of them being cans thrown on the ground by randoms which i collected en route to the bar) in one go to a staff member who wasn’t aware of the 4 can limit – and to be honest neither did i at the time. but after that first transaction there was a 4 cans return only policy enforced.

As a festival organiser you are either serious about encouraging recycling and reduction of rubbish around the venue, in which case a recycle deposit is an excellent idea but if you are serious, why on earth have a recycle return limit?? the limit to me suggests you are not serious at all and you are instead – under a thinly veiled environmental/cleanliness guise – in fact price gouging from your customers which you are well aware most of them will be too lazy or sh!!tfaced to return the cans they buy. i am genuinely interested in someone involved explaining the policy or if anyone else can think of a justification for it.

anyway grumbling about this admittedly fairly petty matter aside – it was a fantastic day and lineup, despite the torrential rain. glad i took my gortex 🙂

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14 Responses to genuine recycling effort or price gouging?
PrinceOfAles PrinceOfAles 4:48 am 06 Nov 10

I kind of like tripping over empty tinnies. Just wouldn`t be a concert without it.

cegee cegee 6:11 pm 03 Nov 10

i think its a good idea, but at Groovin the Moo you could just hand the cans back and get cash… you didn’t HAVE to buy another drink. so. it was awesome. cleanest festival site ever at the end of the day!

Grrrr Grrrr 10:44 am 02 Nov 10

Aah, the usual retarded “security” red-tape.

On the Stonefest website rules pages: No drinks, no drink containers. End.
At the gate: You can’t bring in food. We don’t care what the website says.

Returning 4 cans to get a cider down from $8 to a fairly reasonable $4 made me happy. That, and no queues for cider vs 30 minutes for beer. Even if the cider was 3 Oaks, which is nowhere near as tasty as pretty much every one of it’s competitors – bar Cruiser’s Dolce Cider. Anyway, I didn’t see it as a deposit, more as an effort to keep cleaning-up in people’s minds.

Also, I will never get tired of Spiderbait playing Ol’ Man Sam. Legends.

ConanOfCooma ConanOfCooma 10:05 am 02 Nov 10

Some of my best memories of Metal for the Brain involved drinking beforehand in the carpark. Ahh *reminisces about the good old days*

For the final MFTB, that’s all we did. Ah, memories…

Perhaps a MFTB carpark reunion is in order?

fragge fragge 3:30 pm 01 Nov 10

This sounds like a rort to me, you can only redeem that $1 “deposit” as a discount?? Then it isn’t a deposit. And limiting it to 4 cans means it wasn’t about having less to clean up at the end either. Taking 12 cans up at once isn’t gaming the system, its doing the cleaners a favour. The people who littered them won’t get their dollar back, so you, the industrious recycler, make a profit.

My number one problem with this whole system being that you’re never gaining any money, just losing an extra dollar per drink as well as cleaning the event for them.

m@ m@ 12:30 pm 01 Nov 10

This does seem rather odd. If recycling was really the motivator, it’s no extra cost for them to recycle the cans whether they are handed over at the bar or left on the ground. If it’s price gouging, why not just add $1 to the cost of a beer and make more money? And if saving money on the cleanup is the point why impose a limit on the number of cans that may be returned?

Methinks a committee was involved somewhere in this decision.

p1 p1 11:18 am 01 Nov 10

I think this is a great concept. But unless they are going to let you bring back as many at a time as you want, it is clearly not being administered as a genuine deposit. It might be interesting to see the accounts for the way the bar and deposit scheme was run. What happened to any money not returned as part of the refund system?

Frano said :


It is Stonefest. Named after the Foundation Stone.

The fact that many participants are partaking in the use of mind altering substances, legal or otherwise, is not exactly a secret (for example, this thread is specifically related to the large quantity of booze sold) so I am not exactly sure what is with your use of STONED?

M0les M0les 11:11 am 01 Nov 10

Wow. Poor planning there – they basically minted a local tender of unwieldy and difficult to secure aluminium dollar coins. Then had to try and retrospectively implement rules to limit people gaming the system. Every empty they received back they couldn’t just toss in a skip because they’re all worth a buck now.
The SA-style 5c or raw metal value of about 1c a can might be more manageable, but I can’t see your regular tipsy partygoer of giving much of a rat at that price (especially given the high cost of the unit in the first place).

Frano Frano 10:03 am 01 Nov 10

I think recycling all kind of materials is good. However, the story you have told about STONEDfest is just utter stupidity. Apart from all the shortcomings and loopholes in the idea, what about all the other rubbish that was left. Secondly, imagine trying to manage such a system (4 can limit or is it 12?). From what you said, they didn’t seem to manage it very well. Recycling and constructive ideas are great but this STONEDfest idea is just another populist green nazi idea that makes the usual suspects feel good, with no real benefit or thought to the end outcome.

ConanOfCooma ConanOfCooma 9:46 am 01 Nov 10

Paying top dollar to see Paul Kelly and some other over rated Aussie acts? No thanks.

Bring back Metal For The Brain.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 9:35 am 01 Nov 10

Oh, and as far as recycling goes, the best I’ve seen it done was 15 years ago at a small event in Melbourne, where you were handed a ticket on the way in which you exchanged for your first beer, after which you had to return your empty or you couldn’t get another. It worked really well, and there was bugger all mess to clean up at the end.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 9:32 am 01 Nov 10

I remember when I actually attended UC as a student (last century), and Stone Day was where a few bands would play on the grass near the bar, and students would sit around in the sun chatting and drinking cheap beer. Very relaxed.

I think it’s kinda sad that it’s turned into what it has.

luther_bendross luther_bendross 9:25 am 01 Nov 10

I encountered this at Homebake in 2007, however they didn’t have a limit on how many cans you could return, so I think I made a profit. You’re right though it’s nothing shy of a money grabbing exercise. I can’t recall Stonefest doing this last year….. anyone want to prove me wrong?

Deano Deano 9:22 am 01 Nov 10

A motel I stay at regularly has taken the ‘only replace towels on the floor’ ecological thing to its ultimate conclusion. They have a notice in each room stating that the room will not be made up each day so as to reduce the environmental impact. They even go so far as to give directions how to find the rubbish skip out back in case your bin is full.

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