ACT local recycles her way to a secure future

Canberra homeowner Ashlee Rankin has found a novel way to help offset increases in the cost of living repayments – container recycling through the ACT Container Deposit Scheme (CDS).

Buying her own place hasn’t been easy. Ashlee, 24, works in childcare, with a second job as a cleaner, to pay off her Tuggeranong property which she purchased four years ago for $350,000.

She recently had the idea to recycle bottles and cans through the ACT CDS for the 10c refunds, and immediately looked at how to do it on a large scale.

“My mum lives in a townhouse and they have bin rooms on each floor. The strata committee let me place dedicated bins in each bin room for CDS containers. I store the containers in my neighbour’s garage until I have a batch ready to return,” said Ashlee.

Ashlee also has clients through the cleaning company she works for who save their containers for her.

“I take them in to an Automated Depot each month, either in Queanbeyan or Phillip. I like going to the depots—getting the cash in hand is quite satisfying,” she said.

Ashlee also finds it rewarding to contribute to sustainability.

“Apart for making money by recycling bottles and cans, it also helps our environment by reducing air and water pollution. It saves energy and keeps our environment clean,” she said.

Each month she returns around 800 containers, netting her about $80. It may not sound like much but for Ashlee, the few extra dollars towards her mortgage and cost of living doesn’t go astray.

The ACT CDS is a partnership between the ACT Government, scheme coordinator Exchange for Change and network operator Return-It.