The Community (Producer Responsibility) Scheme will ensure profits stay in Victorian communities, rather than being sent overseas to multinational companies.
Community organisations and small businesses
Pubs and Bottle Shops
Waste and recycling industry
One of the biggest differences between the two schemes is the role for community organisations and small businesses
Bigger benefits for community organisations and small businesses
Under the Community (Producer Responsibility) model, any community organisation, footy club, charity or small business can elect to take part.
Under the NSW Monopoly model, the waste operator picks and chooses who takes part – and takes a portion of the handling fee that refund point operators receive.
We want to provide a new way for community organisations and charities to fundraise, making it easy for Victorians to give back to their local community and support the causes they care about.
Under the Community (Producer Responsibility) model in QLD, operators (including charities, community organisations, small businesses and pubs) are able to receive a handling fee of at least 6.5c per container (incl. GST). In addition, more than 2,200 community organisations are signed up to receive donations in QLD.
Under the NSW Monopoly model, the same operators receive approximately 3.5c to 4.5c per container.
If the same charity operated as a refund point in both QLD and NSW – and each refund point collected one million contains a year – the QLD branch would be 35% to 50% financially better off.
Around 40 percent of the collection network in WA is operated by non-profit and Aboriginal organisations; 10 percent by Local Governments; and around half by small businesses or other for-profit enterprises, many of whom have partnered with a local community group to run their points or are local family businesses.
Under a Community (Producer Responsibility) Model, organisations have many options for how they take part and benefit
A Donation Point is where organisations receive containers dropped off and donated by members of the public.
Charities, sporting clubs and community organisations can operate Donation Points as a form of fundraising to receive these containers as donations. The organisation then takes donated containers to a Refund Point to receive the 10 cent Refund Amount.
Case Study - CQ Pet Rescue
CQ Pet Rescue has been participating in the Containers for Change scheme since it began in June 2019. As at the end of May 2020 CQ Pet Rescue had raised more than $25,000 through the scheme.
Saving animals that are on the euthanasia lists in council pounds and catteries, they’re the only animal rescue in the entire Central Highlands region, receiving no government funding or subsidies. While the financial benefits are clear, there are other positive outcomes from the group’s engagement with the scheme according to Treasurer Susan Consedine.
“The community has been a massive part of this project and their support has made such a difference to our recycling project,” Susan said.
“The local Maraboon Tavern gives us all their cans and bottles for recycling, as do many other local businesses. The scheme is incredibly easy to engage with – the funds are simply deposited into our bank account, ready to be used.”
The scheme is managed by CQ Pet Rescue volunteers including 76-year-old Selwyn Nutley who has collected more than 66,000 bottles and cans for the charity since the scheme began.
“The community have been a massive part of this project.”
Virtual Donation Points
When members of the public return their containers to a Refund Point, they can elect to have their refund amounts donated directly to a community organisation via a Scheme account. This means charities and organisations can raise funds without physically collecting containers themselves.
For example, in Queensland, more than 2,000 community organisations are registered to receive donated funds through returned containers.In WA, around 1,000 organisations are registered.
Consumers can donate to any registered organisation they like from any refund point around the state.
A Refund Point is an authorised business that collects and sorts eligible containers returned by members of the public and pays them the refund amount.
Organisations operating authorised Refund Points generate income through handling fees, as high as 6.5 cents per eligible container collected. Operating a Refund Point is much easier than most people think. Any charity, sporting club, community group or small business can operate one.
There is significant assistance provided to operators, including point-of-sale software, marketing and branding, support and payment processing all free of charge. Under the Community (Producer Responsibility) Scheme, infrastructure to pick up collected containers from the Refund Points is also provided free.
Charities and sporting clubs that operate Refund Points can earn up to 16.5c per container if members of the public donate to them as the operator (10 cent donation plus 6.5 cent handling fee).
New revenue streams for hundreds of community organisations
Peel Thunder Football Club
WAFL club Peel Thunder (aligned to the Fremantle Dockers) has set-up a social enterprise business, Community Recycling WA, to operate Refund Points under the state’s Containers for Change scheme. CRWA will operate multiple refund points across the Rockingham and Mandurah areas. The football club promotes to its members, players and their families to donate cans and containers to the club when they come for training or to matches on the weekend.
The Club will then collect 10 cents per container donated, with the additional handling fee per container going to CRWA. All CRWA profits will be reinvested back into the wider community through grants and sponsorship for things such as coaching and umpire development programs, talent development, sporting equipment and building upgrades. Former Fremantle Dockers forward and Peel Thunder player Hayden Ballantyne said the benefits for the club will be enormous.
“The club is at the forefront of community engagement and this will further enhance its ability to protect the environment, create sustainable jobs and support grassroots sport in the community”
Case Study - Generating jobs for the local community
North Queensland Green Solutions joined the Containers for Change scheme in July 2019. Operating as a social enterprise, the container refund point (CRP) has a strong focus on providing employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities, injuries or health conditions. Since its inception, the CRP has created eight new full-time jobs in a town of just over 8,700 people, with additional casual staff joining at peak times. The town has embraced the CRP which processes an average of more than 130,000 containers per week, returning an average of $13,000 in refunds to the community.
As a social enterprise operator in the Containers for Change scheme, North Queensland Green Solutions invest all their profits from their CRP back into the employment services they offer to the community.
"Generating an average of $13,000 each week in refunds to the community."
Pubs are the lifeblood of many regional communities. A Community (Producer Responsibility) Scheme offers a better deal for pubs.
There will be a cost impact of the Container Deposit Scheme, this cost will be passed on to packaged drinks by manufacturers. A Community (Producer Responsibility) Scheme will be delivered at a lower cost than other schemes, meaning a lower price impact on packaged drinks.
Better Commercial Opportunities
Victorian pubs that sign up as Refund Points will receive almost double the commercial returns on handling fees if a Community (Producer Responsibility) Model is adopted.
In QLD, where a Community (Producer Responsibility) Scheme operates, small businesses including pubs can return a handling fee of approx 6.6 cents per container (incl. GST).
In NSW, where a NSW Monopoly model operates, the net handling fee paid is just 3.5 cents. And small businesses must pay to lease mandatory equipment from the waste operator.
Greater Economic Benefits for the Local Community
Every pub plays an important role in their local community. A Community (Producer Responsibility) Scheme means the economic benefits of a Container Deposit Scheme flow through to communities, charities and local jobs, rather than to large commercial waste operators.
Interstate, this scheme has meant community organisations such as the Lions Club in Cooktown has been able to fund motorised wheelchairs to people with a disability and local small businesses have been able to give new jobs to long-term unemployed people.
The Community (Producer Responsibility) levels the playing field, giving smaller waste operators the opportunity to participate alongside big waste companies.
A role for all waste operators
The waste management industry is vitally important to all components of a container deposit scheme. Waste and environment companies tender to provide core services in an open market, meaning smaller operators can compete against multinational companies.
Under the NSW Monopoly model:
there are less opportunities for other waste operators to participate as refund point operators as the majority of refund points are run by the network operator
those that do run refund points under contract with the network operator are restricted by the network operator in their choice of operating model and equipment, and stand to earn less on a net basis than the equivalents in other jurisdictions
smaller operators are effectively shut out of logistics and processing – the network operator retains a statewide monopoly on the scheme’s operations