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Victoria Will Finally Introduce a Container Deposit Scheme as Part of a Recycling Overhaul

A new four-bin system will hit households from next year, while a container refund scheme looks set to launch by 2023.
By Libby Curran
February 24, 2020
By Libby Curran
February 24, 2020

As part of a recycling makeover for the state, Victoria is finally going to score its own container deposit scheme — but don't go holding your breath just yet. The Andrews Labor Government has announced grand plans to overhaul the state's waste and recycling system, with a $129 million suite of initiatives to be rolled out across the next few years. And while its goal is to slash the amount of waste sent to landfill by 80 percent over ten years, the first of the proposed recycling projects won't kick off until sometime in 2021.

Announced today by Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio, one of the key initiatives would see homes switch from three to four different colour-coded bins, in an effort to better sort waste. A purple lid bin would be used for glass recycling; a green lid for food and garden organics; a yellow lid to recycle plastic, metal and paper; and a red lid for all other household waste.

It's a move designed to make planet-friendly waste management easier — the separation system means more glass can be effectively recycled and reused for things like roads and footpaths and lots more organic waste can be diverted from landfill. The four-bin system is slated to start rolling out gradually next year, though it may take a while to reach every household.

Hot off the press. We will introduce a container deposit scheme in Victoria by 2023. This will reduce the amount of...

Posted by Lily D'Ambrosio MP on Sunday, 23 February 2020

The Labor Government has also announced plans to finally give Victoria its own container deposit scheme, which would allow locals to exchange their empty bottles and cans for cash. Though, don't expect that to come to fruition until 2023, after the system's designed and implemented in close consultation with councils and industry.

The move has already been a long time coming, with Victoria the only Aussie state that hadn'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.

The finer details of Victoria's scheme are yet to be hashed out, though it could involve manually operated or automated 'reverse vending machines' that would offer a money credit for each item deposited. The concept's already had a strong show of support from local councils, including the City of Frankston, the City of Darebin, the City of Port Phillip and the City of Melbourne.

Will it look anything like Victoria's first foray into a container refund system — the short-lived Cash for Cans scheme from the 1980s? We'll just have to wait and see.

Published on February 24, 2020 by Libby Curran


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