ACT Container Deposit Scheme celebrates 5th birthday and over 451 million drink containers recycled

The ACT Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) is celebrating the incredible recycling efforts of the ACT community as it marks its 5th birthday and over 451 million drink containers recycled.

“Thank you to the ACT community for making the ACT CDS part of your everyday life. Together your participation is having a significant and positive impact on our local environment with less litter and less landfill, while also contributing to a growing domestic circular economy,” said Danielle Smalley, CEO of scheme coordinator Exchange for Change.

There are now 22 return points available across the ACT including the first donation station for the scheme, located at the Australian National University. The refunds from all eligible containers deposited in the digital smart bin will support the Conservation Council of the ACT and ANU Thrive’s Kitchen Garden project.

“Alongside the environmental benefits, the ACT community’s participation is also delivering incredible social benefits. We’re thrilled to see so many local charities and community groups use the scheme to support their important work, from animal rescue organisations to local schools and sporting clubs.

“And as we celebrate 5 years of success, we’re also celebrating an exciting new partnership with well-known food rescue organisation OzHarvest as the ACT CDS’ first Territory-wide recycling appeal, using the refunds from bottles and cans to provide meals to people in need,” said Ms Smalley.

In the past 12 months, OzHarvest Canberra has rescued provided over 928,000 meals from food that would otherwise have gone to landfill.

“Every dollar donated to OzHarvest provides two meals, and one dollar only takes 10 eligible drink containers,” said Belinda (Bin) Barnier, City Manager OzHarvest Canberra

“Our goal is to raise $50,000 in donated container refunds in 12 months. These funds will provide 100,000 meals to people doing it tough, so we encourage everyone in the ACT to get behind this appeal,” Bin said.

Marc Churchin, CEO of network operator Return-It said ACT residents should be incredibly proud of the positive impact they’re having.

“248 million containers recycled via the network means $24.8 million in container refunds back in the hands of the community,” said Marc Churchin, CEO of network operator Return-It.

“And with all glass, plastic and aluminium containers recycled into new drink containers and other products, the majority right here in Australia, this also equates to 663 swimming pools worth of water savings, energy savings equivalent to powering 3,000 average households for a year and 13,300 cars off the road for a year in CO2 savings compared to using virgin materials to make new bottles or cans,” he said.

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

Since launching on 30 June 2018, more than 451 million containers have been returned for recycling including 248 million through local return points and 203 million through kerbside recycling.

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