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FAQs


Who is VicRecycle?


VicRecycle has been formed by the beverage industry to advocate for a Community (Producer Responsibility) Scheme in Victoria.

We share the same aims for the scheme as the wider Victorian community – a scheme that is is low cost, maximises recycling, creates as many jobs as possible and provides the greatest economic benefits for communities.

Why does the beverage industry want a container deposit scheme?


The beverage industry takes a leading role in every container deposit scheme in Australia. As beverage producers, we have responsibility when it comes to the products we make, to ensure recycling is maximised and impact on litter and landfill is reduced.

Not only is the CDS the right thing to do, it makes business sense – if companies can make drinks, bring the bottle back and turn it into another bottle, that’s a great outcome.

Are there higher rates of recycling in NSW where a Waste Industry Model operates?


No. The QLD scheme started in November 2018 and in its first 18 months, achieved a redemption rate through the CDS collection network that was 14 per cent higher than NSW for the same period (43% in QLD compared to 38% in NSW).

In the first 18 months of both schemes, containers collected per capita was 37 per cent higher in QLD under the Community (Producer Responsibility) Model (330 containers per capita in QLD vs 241 containers per capita in NSW).

Who gets to determine how many refund points are rolled out and what the opening hours are?


Under the Community (Producer Responsibility) Scheme, refund point coverage and opening hours are set down in legislated standards set by the government. The scheme coordinator must meet these standards. Any assertion that the scheme coordinator can have fewer refund points than the Government determines is false.

Do community organisations have the same benefits no matter the scheme?


Community organisations and charities are financially better off under the Community (Producer Responsibility) Model. In QLD, these organisations receive the handling fee of 6.5c per container in full. Under the waste scheme in NSW, these operators receive approximately 3.5c to 4.5c per container.

In QLD and WA, there are greater opportunities for organisations to receive electronic donations, as these can be made to any registered organisation from any refund point, unlike those under the waste model which are restricted to RVM returns only, with only a limited number of charities able to participate. In QLD over $3m was donated in the first 2 years of operation, with the equivalent in NSW of over $1m in almost 2.5 years, despite being a significantly larger scheme.

Are there as many jobs created in the Waste Industry Scheme?


No. In NSW, the vast majority of returns (more than 80 per cent) are made via automatic reverse vending machines (RVMs). The reality is RVMs are suitable in some urbanised areas but not others.

A good network has a variety of collection points depending on the needs of the local community – that includes depots, drive through drop offs, bag drops, RVMs and mobile collection (such as for small, rural communities). From experiences interstate, we know that having a varied network maximises job creation, rather than relying heavily on staffless RVMs.

 

Shouldn’t refund points only be operated by waste companies?


No. Operating a Refund Point is much easier than most people think. Any charity, sporting club, community group or small business can operate one.

Under the Community (Producer Responsibility) model, significant assistance is 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).

Is an RVM dominated network the most convenient network, driving the highest returns?


No. Convenience means different things to different people and different communities. The most convenient scheme is one that is tailored to the needs of the local communities and provides a variety of options that gives people choice in how and where they return their containers. The best evidence of this is higher return rates in QLD.

Can only a scheme run by large waste companies be successful?


No. The beverage industry has decades of experience helping coordinate Australia’s most successful container deposit schemes.  This includes 40 years operating in SA, operating in the NT and coordinating successful schemes in QLD and WA. The industry takes its producer responsibilities for recycling seriously and uses its expertise running large logistical operations to help world-class schemes such as in South Australia.