18 December 2018

New ‘cash for cans’ depot opens in Phillip as scheme sees 7.6 million containers recycled

| Glynis Quinlan
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Labor MLA Bec Cody opening the new container deposit scheme depot in Phillip. Photos: Supplied.

Residents in Canberra’s south who find the empty bottles and cans stacking up over the Christmas period will have an extra place to trade them in for cash following the opening of a new container deposit scheme depot in Phillip this week.

More than 7.6 million containers have been recycled through the scheme since it began on June 30 this year and the new bulk depot at 17 Dundas Court brings the number of return points in Canberra up to 10 – including three depots and seven express return points operated by either Vinnies or the Salvos.

In opening the new Phillip depot on Monday (December 17), Labor MLA Bec Cody said that 18 return points are scheduled to be operating by July 2019.

The new bulk depot at Phillip.

Ms Cody said the community was really getting behind the container deposit scheme, with the number of containers being returned tripling since the scheme began at the end of June.

“The new depot is great news for Canberra residents, providing another convenient location to return eligible containers seven days a week and pick up 10 cents for each.”

Ms Cody said the extra drop off points would encourage more Canberrans to drop off their bottles over the holiday period for recycling – a time when many yellow recycling bins are full.

“Some families may accumulate hundreds of empty bottles and cans over the holiday period – so it’s a great opportunity to drop off the bottles to claim back a sizeable deposit under the scheme.”

Ms Cody said that the container deposit scheme also provides a great opportunity for organisations to raise funds for community projects and charity work.

“More and more groups and charities are coming on board and using the scheme to fundraise for a range of activities, like a new water tank for an organisation, travel to sporting competitions or supporting their neighbourhood Christmas party.”

She said that eligible containers were those commonly found in the litter stream, including most glass, plastic, aluminium, steel and paper-based cartons between 150ml and 3 litres.

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

The ACT Government believes that the container deposit scheme makes the industry responsible for the products they make, promotes recovery, reuse and recycling of eligible containers, and reduces litter and the number of containers going to landfill.

More than 7.6 million containers have been recycled through the ACT scheme since it began on June 30 this year.

Around 200 million eligible containers are sold each year in the ACT, but previously only around 30 per cent of these containers were recycled.

For more information on container eligibility and return point locations, as well as a fundraising toolkit, visit www.actcds.com.au.


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How about a give one, get one scheme for the plastic bags? Sure there would be an increase in the amount of plastic waste and in the initial cost to buy the bags, but both would be lower than the current scheme in the long-term.

So, add more to the plastic waste. No thank you 🙁

While Bec Cody can be counted upon to praise her own party’s scheme, there are a couple of extra questions that should have been asked.

How many fewer containers have been collected through standard recycling collections and how much extra is it costing residents to buy the containers?

I know someone claiming the refund on their containers, and 99%+ of them would have gone in the yellow bins for recycling anyway. Even if we’re generous and guess that 50% of the 7.6m containers would not have been recycled previously, what we’re seeing is an increase in recycling from 30% to 33.8%.

As for the cost, the regular container I purchase from the supermarket increased in cost 15c the instant the scheme started. Presumably 10c for the deposit and 5c for the administration costs. If consistent across all containers, that means residents are looking at an extra $30m in costs each year while receiving about $1.52m in refunds. Someone is making a ton of money from this scheme and it isn’t us.

What the very? I took a box of bottles and cans to donate to charity via a recycling depot – and the system is demanding that I take multiple large plastic bags to put them in! What environmental messaging is that? And with only 7 million recycled in five months, added to that, I haven’t been able to get an answer to the question: What happens to the 10c deposits that are never claimed? Presumably that’s a massive windfall for the companies concerned, straight out of our pockets. Shouldn’t they be required to pass unclaimed deposits to an environment charity? ACT Govt, please revisit and revise your scheme.

Jackson Bond11:45 pm 19 Dec 18

But according to the CDS website they expect us to buy ‘clear plastic bags’ and put our cans/bottles etc in them before return.

So, to get a refund for plastic…you have to buy plastic bags.

Trust the ACT government to be able to stuff up a simple process.

Capital Retro6:42 pm 21 Dec 18

Yes, they really do deserve the Errol Flynn award.

Do you need to put the bottles in plastic bags? I ask this as someone who doesn’t have spare plastic bags, as I don’t take them when I shop.

I used this Phillip depot this morning – the staff were great, it was easy to do, and I got a bit of beer money before Christmas. Who could ask for more!

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