The Container Deposit Scheme to reduce recycling?

johnboy 5 July 2010 25

Simon Corbell has announced that the ACT is getting on the bandwagon for a national container deposit system (getting a few pennies for every drink bottle you bring back).

Hopefully this is meant (should it not be derailed by a big state that would already have it if they wanted it) to improve recycling rates.

Although Simon notes that South Australia, which has a CDS, has lower recycling rates than we do:

The ACT already recovers 75% of containers which is higher than South Australia at 69% where a container deposit scheme already exists.

But hey, warm fuzzies all round.

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25 Responses to The Container Deposit Scheme to reduce recycling?
Deref Deref 4:15 pm 24 Aug 10

I’d love to see a deposit on all disposable packaging – particularly McDondald’s wrappers. A couple of dollars on each piece of paper would solve most of our litter problems overnight.

clp clp 11:40 am 06 Jul 10

The main reasons other states haven’t been keen in the past has been because of intense lobbying by the soft drink manufacturers.

astrojax astrojax 9:18 am 06 Jul 10

victoria isn’t keen either, much for some of the same reasons canvassed above by thatsnotme and others…

Thumper Thumper 8:24 am 06 Jul 10

+1 caf..

geetee geetee 8:20 am 06 Jul 10

Having lived in SA during the 70s (and later) when this initiative began I can say it’s a great scheme. Interesting to see the ACT and Victoria saying ‘our recycling % is higher than in SA’. I would be interested in seeing recycling rates for the past 35 years….

It’s great after a footy game or concert or similar big public event to see gangs of kids or scouts or homeless people going around with sacks and collecting cans and bottles. No need to employ people to clean up these items so surely catering costs for public (inc govt funded events) would be reduced?

shaneb shaneb 8:20 am 06 Jul 10

niftydog said :

I often wonder why places like the Canberra Centre have one or two recycling bins around the food court(s) and then none in the rest of the centre.

It is because the general public has a demonstrated history of not being able to distinguish between general waste and recycling bins in public spaces. Thus any recycling bins present will quickly get polluted causing the entire collection to be thrown into the general waste stream anyway. I will be surprised if the contents of the recycling bins in the food court actually enter the recycling stream due to this problem, the Canberra Centre probably just labels one bin Recycling to give their customers the fuzzies.

caf caf 10:59 pm 05 Jul 10

I’d rather see a green waste collection…

thatsnotme thatsnotme 10:11 pm 05 Jul 10

Pork Hunt said :

I’m with GG on this. Buy 20 cartons of beer, get one free.

Homer Simpson would be in paradise.

You do realise that this is a deposit scheme? So with the extra deposit amount you’re paying for each bottle, by the time you’ve paid for your 20th carton, you’ve actually paid what 21 used to cost? Then spent more of your own time and money to get to somewhere you can get a refund, on top of what you already pay via rates to have recycling trucks come and pick up your recycling bins.

Personally, I think I’d rather just keep that money up front, knowing that when I do buy myself a carton, I can put it in the bin that’s already been provided for that exact purpose, and all I need to worry about from then on is remembering to put it out on recycling day.

cleo cleo 9:49 pm 05 Jul 10

I don’t know why it ever stopped, when I was a kid we always traded in soft drink bottles, newspapers, and milk bottles, it was a great way to make money.

WonderfulWorld WonderfulWorld 8:51 pm 05 Jul 10

ACT had money for cans when I was a kid. I was disappointed when it finished up, was great lolly money. We could return at place of purchase though for our automatic refund and it was up to the shop to recycle, or whatever they did with them back then. I think there are other priorities the government should be working on at the moment that are also saving our environment and they should put this one on the back burner for now. eg not killing people through insulation schemes.

2620watcher 2620watcher 8:16 pm 05 Jul 10

Pork Hunt said :

I’m with GG on this. Buy 20 cartons of beer, get one free.

Homer Simpson would be in paradise.

Yeah I don’t think so. The implementation of this great idea is they will raise the price of each bottle by 10c, then allow you to claim it back. Its this crazy kind of thinking that goes against the grain of cutting carbon emissions. So instead of one truck picking up all recyclables and taking them to a central facility for processing, we now have every Joe driving their car to a centre and claiming their cash.

Deckard Deckard 7:17 pm 05 Jul 10

Fiona said :

In europe that just meant i gave my diet coke bottles to homeless guys while out instead of putting it in the bin for them to fish out later.

It’s kind of funny when they spot you drinking it then hang around until you finish.

moneypenny2612 moneypenny2612 7:14 pm 05 Jul 10

It’s not correct to assume that bottle prices will rise because of the deposit scheme – they won’t. It costs manufacturers and retailers nothing to administer (unless of course they want to collect bottles for the deposit too). Similarly households only need to separate recyclables more than they do now if they actually want to claim the deposit; it’s not compulsory!

SA also has roadside recycle bins collected by city and suburban councils just like here. I guess SA’s overall recycle rates could be lower because of a lack of recycling service in rural areas.

The deposit scheme is also a cheap way for businesses to participate in recycling – they can put their general dumpsters outside the back of the shop and then watch the homeless people dumpster dive for recyclables to get a deposit. The same happens with the bins in public places – no need to spend money on special purpose green bins in the street.

AndyC AndyC 6:30 pm 05 Jul 10

Pork Hunt said :

I’m with GG on this. Buy 20 cartons of beer, get one free.

Homer Simpson would be in paradise.

Except you wouldn’t be getting free beer, as the price of beer would need to go up to pay for the deposit scheme….

Sounds like a bad idea for the environment if you ask me. Implementing this would mean one of 2 things for me:

1. I save up my containers, and drive myself to recycling depot (as does everyone else that wants their 5c per container back). All those cars would sure create more environment damaging pollution.
2. I stop my current habit of seperating my containers from general household rubbish, as I’m now being penalised for not going out of my way to drop them at the depot… current warm and fuzzies are all gone.

Why should I care about the environment when the government is encouraging me not to? Atleast that’s the way I see it…

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 5:53 pm 05 Jul 10

I’m with GG on this. Buy 20 cartons of beer, get one free.

Homer Simpson would be in paradise.

Davo111 Davo111 5:27 pm 05 Jul 10

It would be interesting to have a machine in civic where you could drop in bottles and money drops out the bottom. Would create a job for homeless people? and keep our community clean?

clp clp 4:42 pm 05 Jul 10

BTW not sure where they got the 69% figure from as figures I have seen put it at 85% in SA. One of the biggest arguments is that kerbside recycling is a costly business for municipal councils – with container deposit funding it becomes a more profitable exercise.

clp clp 4:38 pm 05 Jul 10

Given the drink manufacturers are against container deposit legislation and the fact that it is hugely popular in SA I think its a great idea. However I concede that its a bit funny introducing it in this way. Plus its mightly noisy when people shuffle through your recycling bins at night to get the bottles out.

pptvb pptvb 4:18 pm 05 Jul 10

Maybe they could be utilised in the war against public urination!

bd84 bd84 2:49 pm 05 Jul 10

thatsnotme said :

I really don’t get how this is supposed to work here. Everyone has great big recycling bins at home already – which I assume is a big part of the reason that we have high recycling rates. So assuming that the refund amount will be built into the price of the item when we buy it, does it mean that if we don’t want to have to wear the higher cost of buying a drink, that we can’t use our recycling bins for drinks containers any more? So we’ll have the ridiculous situation where households need to keep a separate collection of bottles, and drive them to a collection point to get some money back, while our existing recycling trucks continue to trundle around collecting less than before.

Surely if our system is working so well already, and Canberrans are already used to separating our rubbish, a better idea would be to make recycling bins available in public areas so we can continue to recycle when we’re away from home? Container deposits were probably a nice way to encourage people to recycle when they weren’t used to it – pretty sure we’re past that now though, and don’t really need additional schemes to make recycling less convenient.

Couldn’t have said it better myself, why waste money implementing a new system when the current one is better and only needs to be supplemented with better recycling in public and in businesses, that would take the level of recycling to over 90%.

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