How to Use Queensland’s New Container Recycling Scheme

There are doubts within the waste industry that Queensland’s new recycling scheme can be ready for launch at the start of next month.

From November 1, Queenslanders can claim a 10-cent refund for most plastic drink containers, beer bottles and aluminium cans at one of 232 collection points from Coen to Coolangatta.

The state’s first-ever container exchange refund scheme is run by a not-for-profit company called COEX (Container Exchange) and branded as Containers for Change.

Recycling companies see future recycling business from “cleaner” recycled glass, plastics and cardboard that comes in through the collection depots.

But some large waste lobby groups, represented by the Waste Management Association of Australia, doubt the scheme will be ready in time.

Chief executive officer Gayle Sloan said the rules setting up Queensland’s collection sites kept changing and software to provide the discounts was in dispute.

“To have 230 collection points up and running in 35 days is going to be quite challenging,” she said.

Some collection centres were yet to lodge development applications with local councils to begin operating, she said.

Alby Taylor, a 30-year  corporate executive and the man “working 20 hour days” for COEX on behalf of the Queensland Government, insists it will be ready.

He is the general manager of the Australian Beverages Council and is COEX’s first chairman.

“We are contracted to provide 232 collection points from November 1 and that increases to 306 by the next year,” he said.

How will it work?

Queenslanders can use a simple mobile phone app – Containers for Change – to have the refund credited to their account.

At some counters in major cities and towns they will receive cash across the counter at a collection depot, or choose to receive a refund as a grocery shopping voucher discount.

But there will be variations across the state, which will be divided into 14 different regions.

In addition to getting cash for containers, consumers will be able to choose to donate to a charity.

Sporting groups, community groups, schools and surf lifesaving associations who contract to companies who have won tenders to operate container refund points across the 14 regions will receive the 10 cent deposit.

“They will also receive a portion of the 6 cent handling fee for each container as a fundraising vehicle,” Mr Taylor said.

“Better still, where a sporting or community groups contracts directly with COEX in their own right, they will then receive the 10 cent deposit, plus the full 6 cents from every container.”

According to COEX, more than 500 groups and associations have signed on to join this fundraising phase.

The company is exploring an option where people will be able to join specific fundraising groups using a six-digit code as a way to directly donate to their charity of choice.

This article was originally published by the Sydney Morning Herald. Click here to read entire article.

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