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Victoria Could Finally Be Getting Its Own Container Refund Scheme

If the City of Melbourne gets its way, you might soon be able to exchange empty bottles and cans for cash.
By Libby Curran
August 05, 2019
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Victoria Could Finally Be Getting Its Own Container Refund Scheme

If the City of Melbourne gets its way, you might soon be able to exchange empty bottles and cans for cash.
By Libby Curran
August 05, 2019
  shares

It's well behind the eight ball, but Victoria could soon be stepping up its waste management game by (finally) introducing its own container refund scheme. Victoria and Tasmania are currently the only two Aussie states that haven't already committed to one – Queensland's Containers for Change program launched in late 2018, while South Australia led the charge by introducing its version way back in 1977.

Following strong support from local councils including the City of Frankston, the City of Darebin, and the City of Port Phillip, the City of Melbourne has now thrown its weight behind the concept, backing a campaign from the Municipal Association of Victoria and calling for the Victorian Government to introduce container deposit legislation into parliament.

It's hoped that a container deposit program would help quash the state's littering problem and encourage more recycling, by offering residents cash back for their unwanted single-use containers.

There's no firm word yet on how it might operate, though it could involve manually operated or automated 'reverse vending machines' that would offer a money credit for each item deposited — rewarding you for your recycling efforts, while helping Victoria to drastically cut down on the amount of recyclable material being sent to landfill.

At the moment, schemes in other states offer a ten-cent refund for each aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard beverage container returned.

If it is introduced, it won't be Victoria's first foray into a container refund scheme. The state had a short-lived Cash for Cans system in the 80s, which was promoted by famed tennis player Pat Cash (we're assuming his name had something to do with it). You can watch the slightly bizarre, extremely retro video here:

With Ballarat recycling giant SKM no longer accepting recyclables from City of Melbourne, an extra 45 tonnes of recycling is being sent to landfill each day.

The City of Melbourne is also promising it'll look into alternate uses for the state's recycled materials, potentially using them to create new roads, footpaths, bikeways and playground equipment.

The Victorian Government has not yet responded to the City of Melbourne call for action or the Municipal Association of Victoria's campaign, we'll let you know if and when it does.

Published on August 05, 2019 by Libby Curran

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