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New bill to launch Canberra’s cash for cans scheme

By Glynis Quinlan - 20 September 2017 13

Cash for cans

Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry and Minister for Transport and City Services Meegan Fitzharris launching the Container Deposit Scheme at the Holt shops earlier this year.

A bill will be introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly tomorrow which will enable Canberrans to exchange discarded water bottles and empty soft drink cans for cash – addressing one of the city’s biggest litter problems.

The bill paves the way for a Container Deposit Scheme to be set up in the territory early next year and aims to be consistent with the NSW scheme which starts this December.

Under the scheme, a 10 cent refund will be provided for empty beverage containers that are returned to an approved collection point.

Eligible containers will include most aluminium, glass, PET, HDPE, steel and liquid paperboard beverage containers between 150 millilitres and 3 litres (inclusive).

ACT Transport and City Services Minister Meegan Fitzharris said the Waste Management and Resources Recovery Amendment Bill 2017 sets out the objectives and framework of the territory’s scheme, including the obligations of beverage suppliers to participate in the scheme.

Ms Fitzharris said the Container Deposit Scheme will be funded by the beverage industry and delivered by experienced operators in the recycling and beverage industries.

“Beverage containers are the most prevalent source of litter in our waterways, parks and roadsides,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“The Container Deposit Scheme is a positive step forward that encourages the community and the beverage industry to reduce litter and create a cleaner environment.

“The scheme will also create revenue-raising opportunities for charities, schools and community groups.”

Ms Fitzharris said that feedback on the proposed scheme will be sought from the Canberra community over the coming weeks to help ensure its effective implementation.

The consultation period is expected to start soon and will ask for comment on a range of key aspects of the scheme including how the 10 cent refund for eligible containers is to be provided, where and how containers can be redeemed, and how an eligible container is identified.

Ms Fitzharris said the Government will appoint a scheme coordinator and a network operator who will work together to deliver the scheme.

The bill to be introduced tomorrow also proposes a method for redeeming containers collected through the current kerbside recycling program.

This form of recycling is to continue for residents who choose to put their containers in their yellow bins at home, with refunds to be shared between the Material Recovery Facility that processes the containers and the ACT Government.

Ms Fitzharris said the introduction of the Container Deposit Scheme is an item in the Parliamentary Agreement between Labor and the Greens.

Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury said the scheme will reduce litter, improve recycling rates and save money, as well as creating new businesses and jobs in the ACT.

“We’re pleased today to welcome a container deposit scheme to Canberra,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The Greens have advocated strongly for the scheme over a number of years, and it’s great to see that this will now be realised.

“This year South Australia is celebrating 40 years since the introduction of the container deposit legislation,” he 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.” 

Do you think this scheme is a good idea? Do you have any thoughts on how the 10 cent refunds could be provided or how containers could be redeemed?

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
New bill to launch Canberra’s cash for cans scheme
dungfungus 8:50 am 23 Sep 17

Garfield said :

dungfungus said :

Garfield said :

dungfungus said :

Garfield said :

So the beverage industry will fund it, which means consumers will fund it through higher prices, but then when people use their yellow bins, as would be the case for the majority of containers at the moment, the government will take the money themselves. Why does this sound like another cost of living increase with the government ending up with more money in its coffers than would otherwise be the case, and isn’t another name for that a tax increase?

If the empty containers are consigned to domestic recycling bis they will end up at the recycling centre which isn’t owned by the government so how are they going to get the redemption value? I doubt if the recycler is going to pay someone to sort through them.

Did you read the article?

“This form of recycling is to continue for residents who choose to put their containers in their yellow bins at home, with refunds to be shared between the Material Recovery Facility that processes the containers and the ACT Government.”

So people who put their recycling in the yellow bin will be gifting money to the ACT government and the recycling facility operators.

Yes, I agree with what you say but my point was that it is not realistic to have someone manually sort the redeemable stuff from the rest. I wouldn’t expect anyone in the government to understand that.

Its my understanding they have people there sorting now, so I don’t see it as being that big a change for the recycling facility.

That is correct but as was last shown there, the sorting is limited to removing non-recyclable material only (baby nappies, dead kittens etc) . A lot of the recyclable stuff will already be the plastic beverage containers that will soon be worth 10c each so it would defeat the purpose of having a mechanised system feeding a baler if people are going to have to manually retrieve most of the stuff from the feed chute? And when they are returned to the manufacturer, who pays the freight etc.?

Garfield 7:01 pm 22 Sep 17

dungfungus said :

Garfield said :

dungfungus said :

Garfield said :

So the beverage industry will fund it, which means consumers will fund it through higher prices, but then when people use their yellow bins, as would be the case for the majority of containers at the moment, the government will take the money themselves. Why does this sound like another cost of living increase with the government ending up with more money in its coffers than would otherwise be the case, and isn’t another name for that a tax increase?

If the empty containers are consigned to domestic recycling bis they will end up at the recycling centre which isn’t owned by the government so how are they going to get the redemption value? I doubt if the recycler is going to pay someone to sort through them.

Did you read the article?

“This form of recycling is to continue for residents who choose to put their containers in their yellow bins at home, with refunds to be shared between the Material Recovery Facility that processes the containers and the ACT Government.”

So people who put their recycling in the yellow bin will be gifting money to the ACT government and the recycling facility operators.

Yes, I agree with what you say but my point was that it is not realistic to have someone manually sort the redeemable stuff from the rest. I wouldn’t expect anyone in the government to understand that.

Its my understanding they have people there sorting now, so I don’t see it as being that big a change for the recycling facility.

dungfungus 11:26 am 22 Sep 17

Garfield said :

dungfungus said :

Garfield said :

So the beverage industry will fund it, which means consumers will fund it through higher prices, but then when people use their yellow bins, as would be the case for the majority of containers at the moment, the government will take the money themselves. Why does this sound like another cost of living increase with the government ending up with more money in its coffers than would otherwise be the case, and isn’t another name for that a tax increase?

If the empty containers are consigned to domestic recycling bis they will end up at the recycling centre which isn’t owned by the government so how are they going to get the redemption value? I doubt if the recycler is going to pay someone to sort through them.

Did you read the article?

“This form of recycling is to continue for residents who choose to put their containers in their yellow bins at home, with refunds to be shared between the Material Recovery Facility that processes the containers and the ACT Government.”

So people who put their recycling in the yellow bin will be gifting money to the ACT government and the recycling facility operators.

Yes, I agree with what you say but my point was that it is not realistic to have someone manually sort the redeemable stuff from the rest. I wouldn’t expect anyone in the government to understand that.

Garfield 8:05 pm 21 Sep 17

Maya123 said :

Garfield said :

So the beverage industry will fund it, which means consumers will fund it through higher prices, but then when people use their yellow bins, as would be the case for the majority of containers at the moment, the government will take the money themselves. Why does this sound like another cost of living increase with the government ending up with more money in its coffers than would otherwise be the case, and isn’t another name for that a tax increase?

Drinking both bottled water and soft drinks are not a necessity of life, so it’s not necessary to fund either. If you do, you choose to. Others will choose not to. The tap water is good and soft drinks are a choice item; also not necessary. I never understand, with water in particular, why I see people buying water in Canberra. We won the best water in NSW after all. Some people must enjoy wasting their money and being responsible for plastic waste.

At the moment I choose to consume the odd beverage that comes in a container that will be covered under this scheme, and every single container goes in my yellow recycling bin. We’re not a communist state yet and still have some personal freedoms. You seem to be completely missing the point I was making that people doing the right thing now in regards to their recycling will be financially penalised under this scheme. Even if we separate out the applicable containers, there’s still time, storage and transport costs just to get the deposits back. The purpose of this scheme is to increase recycling, but for people like me there will be no increase in recycling but we will incur additional costs that will end up in the pocket of the government as they profit from our good recycling habits.

Garfield 7:56 pm 21 Sep 17

dungfungus said :

Garfield said :

So the beverage industry will fund it, which means consumers will fund it through higher prices, but then when people use their yellow bins, as would be the case for the majority of containers at the moment, the government will take the money themselves. Why does this sound like another cost of living increase with the government ending up with more money in its coffers than would otherwise be the case, and isn’t another name for that a tax increase?

If the empty containers are consigned to domestic recycling bis they will end up at the recycling centre which isn’t owned by the government so how are they going to get the redemption value? I doubt if the recycler is going to pay someone to sort through them.

Did you read the article?

“This form of recycling is to continue for residents who choose to put their containers in their yellow bins at home, with refunds to be shared between the Material Recovery Facility that processes the containers and the ACT Government.”

So people who put their recycling in the yellow bin will be gifting money to the ACT government and the recycling facility operators.

Valleyboy 6:49 pm 21 Sep 17

The beverage industry will pass this levy on to the consumer, so where does that leave people like myself who have been doing the right thing and have conscientiously sorted their recyclables for kerbside collection ever since that service commenced?

It means that we will effectively be fined for every recyclable drink container, as if littering, for merely continuing to do that right thing – because we’re not going to get our deposit back if we put those containers into our yellow bins.

If I’m going to effectively be fined anyway for continuing to do that right thing, then I might as well treat it as a pre-paid indulgence and do something to deserve the fine – maybe put those containers into my landfill rubbish in future?

At the moment, I only need to put my landfill rubbish bin out about once every three weeks, so I wouldn’t mind making more use of the service – accompanied, in this case, by some civil disobedience.

dungfungus 11:05 am 21 Sep 17

Garfield said :

So the beverage industry will fund it, which means consumers will fund it through higher prices, but then when people use their yellow bins, as would be the case for the majority of containers at the moment, the government will take the money themselves. Why does this sound like another cost of living increase with the government ending up with more money in its coffers than would otherwise be the case, and isn’t another name for that a tax increase?

If the empty containers are consigned to domestic recycling bis they will end up at the recycling centre which isn’t owned by the government so how are they going to get the redemption value? I doubt if the recycler is going to pay someone to sort through them.

Maya123 10:30 am 21 Sep 17

Garfield said :

So the beverage industry will fund it, which means consumers will fund it through higher prices, but then when people use their yellow bins, as would be the case for the majority of containers at the moment, the government will take the money themselves. Why does this sound like another cost of living increase with the government ending up with more money in its coffers than would otherwise be the case, and isn’t another name for that a tax increase?

Drinking both bottled water and soft drinks are not a necessity of life, so it’s not necessary to fund either. If you do, you choose to. Others will choose not to. The tap water is good and soft drinks are a choice item; also not necessary. I never understand, with water in particular, why I see people buying water in Canberra. We won the best water in NSW after all. Some people must enjoy wasting their money and being responsible for plastic waste.

Garfield 8:39 am 21 Sep 17

So the beverage industry will fund it, which means consumers will fund it through higher prices, but then when people use their yellow bins, as would be the case for the majority of containers at the moment, the government will take the money themselves. Why does this sound like another cost of living increase with the government ending up with more money in its coffers than would otherwise be the case, and isn’t another name for that a tax increase?

dungfungus 7:24 am 21 Sep 17

Maya123 said :

Not something I use enough of to dispose of. My water comes from the tap. Rarely drink soft drinks. The last can I threw in the recycling, was one someone chucked on my front footpath. Can’t remember the last time I personally had a soft drink can to recycle. But some people generate an enormous amount of waste, so likely a good idea.

I think the major problem is from discarded plastic water bottles. It certainly is a rarity to see a discarded soft-drink can these days. Most soft drinks are dispensed from post mixers at the takeaway hamburger restaurant outlets and the containers they use (open top cardboard milkshake shape containers) do not appear to be covered specifically by the proposed legislation. The plastic straws that accompany the sale of takeaway beverages and of course, disposable coffee cups do not get a mention either.

Maya123 9:37 pm 20 Sep 17

Not something I use enough of to dispose of. My water comes from the tap. Rarely drink soft drinks. The last can I threw in the recycling, was one someone chucked on my front footpath. Can’t remember the last time I personally had a soft drink can to recycle. But some people generate an enormous amount of waste, so likely a good idea.

Stephen C 7:50 pm 20 Sep 17

Ms Fitzharris is either deluded or being economical with the truth if she thinks that the scheme “will be funded the beverage industry”. Costs will be borne by the final consumer.

These schemes are just costly and ineffective “feel good” measures that our politicians and opinion leaders love to roll out. If there is value in the material in containers then someone would be happy to pay us for it (aluminium – probably; cardboard and glass- probably not). This scheme will only be valuable if there is significant littering – I don’t think there is and it may be more effective to police littering than running this expensive scheme.

Has the ACT government done a proper cost benefit analysis and regulation impact statement about this policy? Or is this another example of a feelgood green-labor policy foisted on ACT taxpayers and residents without doing the kind of analysis that the ACT government agreed to do at COAG?

Rollersk8r 4:12 pm 20 Sep 17

Well I’m confused, especially the part about the ACT Government paying themselves every time I throw a bottle into my recycling bin at home??

Using the yellow recycling bin at home is such a habit that I don’t understand why they would potentially want to disrupt this, especially as some people no doubt will horde containers at home and redeem a few times a year.

Plus, I do see some litter out and about, especially when cycling out on the highway, for example, but 10c is no incentive for me to pick it up.

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