11 August 2019

New Phillip CDS drop-off machine to turn trash into treasure on the spot

| Lachlan Roberts
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A new vending machine -style drop-off point will be trialled at Phillip CDS depot. Photo: Supplied.

The ACT Government has unveiled a trial of new technology at the ‘cash for cans’ return depot at Phillip so customers can turn their recycled bottles and cans into cash on the spot.

Minister for City Services Chris Steel launched the trial of a reverse vending machine -style machine at the Phillip CDS on Friday afternoon (9 August), which is believed to be able to cut customers’ waiting times by half.

Unlike other automated counting systems that require customers to visit a separate location to convert a docket into cash, the machines at Phillip depot are connected to an ATM that pays customers immediate cash on the spot.

The system will be managed by the network operator Return-It, who have already trialled the new technology in other sites in Australia before bringing the new technology to the ACT.

Mr Steel said the new technology installed at Phillip is the result of home-grown Australian innovation, developed in collaboration with the University of South Australia and SAGE Automation.

“This new way of depositing containers is just another way that we’re making the container deposit scheme more accessible to Canberrans to exchange eligible beverage containers for cash,” Mr Steel said.

“It is important that we continue to develop our container deposit scheme. Over 30 million containers have now been returned through the scheme since last year and we want to encourage Canberrans to continue collecting their bottles and cans to drop off.

“The new machines at Phillip will be trialled and if successful, you’ll see more of these machines rolled out around Canberra.”

Mr Steel said the reverse ATM system is similar to the one across the border in NSW, but instead of providing a voucher it will provide cash immediately.

“This new system is about making the container deposit scheme as easy as possible for Canberrans to use by making it more efficient,” he said. “We are also looking at more collection points around Canberra to make sure it is close to them.”

Under the scheme, people can return eligible cans and bottles and receive ten cents for each, with Canberrans able to receive the refund via cash, electronic refund or donating to charity at all 21 return points.

Locations are: Amaroo playing fields, Charnwood shops, Hawker shops, Kambah district playing fields, Tuggeranong recycling drop off centre, Fyshwick bulk depot, Mitchell bulk depot, Phillip bulk depot, Gungahlin recycling drop off centre, ACT Basketball, IGA Evatt, IGA Farrer, Vinnies Belconnen, Vinnies Dickson, Vinnies Tuggeranong, Salvos Tuggeranong, Salvos Phillip, Salvos Mitchell, Salvos Fyshwick, Anglicare Jamison and Anglicare Phillip.

The Phillip depot is located at 17 Dundas Court, Phillip and is open 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 4 pm on weekends.

For more information, including container eligibility, how and where to return, and to create an account, click here.

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