WA jumps on cash for containers bandwagon

The new date has been set for the launch of WA’s Container Deposit Scheme in which consumers can receive cash refunds for recycling various drinking containers. 

Consumers will receive a 10c refund per container as an incentive to recycle right.
Photo: Georgia Hargreaves.

From October 1st, 10c per container will be paid to anyone who drops eligible containers at a registered refund point. 

A similar container deposit scheme was introduced to South Australia in 1977 – a mere 43 years ago.

The South Australian government says the scheme has been effective in reducing litter, increasing resource recovery and reducing waste going to landfill.

Eligible containers for WA’s container deposit scheme must display the refund mark like this one.

Each year, West Australians use more than 1.3 billion drink containers – many of which ends up in landfill or littered across the state. 

Cash incentives for correct disposal of cans. Image: Georgia Hargreaves.

During Tuesday’s announcement Environment minister Stephen Dawson claimed the $3.5 million scheme will create more than 500 jobs at refund points across the state.

“Western Australians have been telling us they are ready and willing to get involved in a cash for cans scheme, they want to recycle right and they want to ensure less beverage containers end up in landfill,” he says.

“The scheme’s launch date had to be delayed due to COVID-19, a decision that was supported by the community and the scheme coordinator, and public health advice.

“An October launch date strikes the right balance between keeping people safe and ensuring the sustainability of the network.”

Infographic: Georgia Hargreaves.

Containers can be dropped off at either a registered refund point, or at donation points run by local community groups and charities.

Not-for-profit organisations like Green Batch are recycling various materials in innovative ways and using them for things like prosthetic limbs or filament for 3D printing.

To see where your local registered drop off point is, click here.

West Australian Return Recycle Renew Ltd. CEO Tim Cusack says the scheme will not only reduce litter and landfill and increase recycling, it will also boost the state’s economy by creating jobs.

“The Containers for Change Refund Point operators are a mix of small business owners, experienced recyclers, social enterprises and non-profits,” he says.

“Forty-per-cent of the refund points will be operated by social enterprises including charities, disability sector organisations, Aboriginal corporations, and sporting & community groups.”