The companies and organisations involved in the Container Refund Scheme (CRS) have their own rules on how containers are to be returned and with very few sites having Reverse Vending Machines they require you to register your details including bank account, bag up the containers, return them to a Container Refund Point and wait up to six weeks for a refund after they are manually counted.
If the manual count gives a substantially lower number like it has for many people there is no avenue to dispute this.
Each of these Container Refund Points have their own rules on the types of bags, some will provide you bags but often run out and if this is the case you have to travel to another CRP until you find one with bags that you can use. Most of the Container Refund Points will not let you use single use bags, instead you have to buy from the supermarket stronger multiple use bags and nearly all of them will not accept black bags for the safety of the sorting staff so this requires the purchase of more expensive clear bags.
Now one of the companies that requires you to use their own orange coloured bags Envirobank require you to put in exactly 50 containers, no more and no less or they will declare the bag as ineligible (see below for details). But it continues to get better, you cannot drop off 11 bags or more, if you have 501 containers or more you have to go to a depot and make a Statutory Deceleration which will require you to find a Justice of the Peace to witness the signature. All this for $50.10 or more! You couldn’t make this up!
June 2019 | See below for an update in March 2019 to Envirobanks inane requirements.
Checking their website there is no mention of the 50 container requirement on their How It Works page which shows a very simple process. Further to this they operate an ineligible bag policy that allows them to keep the containers and void your payment so if you put in 49 or 51 containers it’s goodbye refund!
I checked the Queensland Legislation on this and can find no reference to 500 containers however found that NSW requires a statutory declaration to be made that you purchased the containers in NSW so it’s unknown if they impose this requirement in Queensland or not.
Queensland Legislation does contain this however but it is not clear where and when this applies.
Division 3 Refund amounts for empty containers 20 Bulk quantity—Act, s99T New section 20 defines bulk quantity, for the purposes of providing a refund declaration to a container refund point operator, as at least 1,500 empty containers.Container Refund Scheme Regulation 2018
Looking at their terms of service shows even more strange requirements including their right to keep your containers without paying you compensation if you include any ineligible containers or waste.
This is also confirmed on a popular forum.
One of the recycling scheme vendors in Queensland (Envirobank) just announced that they will only accept bags that have exactly 50 containers in it. If you have less, you forfeit the entire bag. I exclusively use 1.25L bottles and therefore it is impossible to get 50 into a bag. This is getting beyond ridiculous. I clearly won’t use them anymore but my incentive to use this scheme in general is further diminished.Whirlpool Post
The even have instructions on how to use the bags, instead of creating a bag that is easy to use they have instead forced the onus onto those returning containers to figure out a solution.
Q. How do I close my orange bags properly?
A. It may seem like a silly question, but it’s more complicated than you think.
All this for a Container Refund Scheme that is truly a fantastic example of Idiocracy. The CRS could have required Reverse Vending Machines to be installed at Supermarkets so you can return your containers from the place you purchased them from when you go shopping. But why go simple, logical and cheap when you can do the opposite?
Update | Envirobank have changed their terms of service March 2019
Whilst they have updated a few areas even a more recent FAQ entry from April 2019 says that you should stick to 50 containers per bag.
You can mix your eligible containers in each bag, regardless of material type, but we do ask that you please stick to 50 containers per bag.
In order to use the Drop’n’Go Service, you must:(5.1.a) Before you drop-off Your Eligible Beverage Containers at a Drop’n’Go Location, ensure that You place a Maximum of 50 Eligible Beverage Containers inside an Envirobank orange collection bag with a QR code attached to the bag (Eligible Bag). At most Drop’n’Go Locations, the orange collection bag will have a QR code affixed to the bag. If You are dropping-off at a Drop’n’Go Location in NSW, You must affix a swing tag with a QR code to the drawstring of the orange collection bag.Terms of Service | Envirobank
Scan the QR code on each Eligible Bag using the QR code scanner function of the Website (Your mobile device may request temporary permission for the Website to access the camera on Your mobile device in order to scan the QR code); or
Type the QR code in manually for each Eligible Bag,
while logged into Your Account on the Website. It is Your responsibility to ensure that each QR code has been accurately entered into Your Account on the Website before dropping off your Eligible Bag(s) at the Drop’n’Go Location.
(c) Only drop-off a maximum of 10 Eligible Bags in a single Drop’n’Go deposit. Deposits greater than 500 containers should be made at a depot and a Statutory Declaration completed, as a requirement of the Scheme.
And they now have a FAQ that says you will be paid for every item contrary to the experience of others before they updated their terms of service.
What if my bag doesn’t contain 50 eligible containers?
Regardless of the number of containers in your bag, you’ll still be paid for every eligible container you deposit. (In accordance with the Act)
However it may take a little while longer for your containers to be processed and for you to receive your payment, compared to our ultra-popular 50 container express service.
Why is it better to pack your bags with 50 eligible containers? Find out here
(*Spoiler: it’s faster, hassle-free, and we give you imaginary gold stars every time you do it!)Envirobank FAQ