Queensland Container Refund Scheme False Recycling Claims and Statistics

Figures provided by Ministers, Departments and Container Exchange have often been misleading at best and comparisions have been difficult to make due to inconsistent and differing methods being used for calculation of relevant statistics.

Depending on what suits their agenda at the time you have annual consumption figures for containers of “up to 3 Billion” and “over 2.4 Billion”.

Containers for Change and Container Exchange are fond of quoting the figure of 30 to 35% for past recycling rates when in the 2017-2018 financial Year immediately before the commencement of the Container Recycling Scheme it was 45%.

There needs to be an independent audit performed of the embarrassing Container Recycling Scheme with a view to replacing it with a supermarket Reverse Vending Machine system like Germany and other countries.

This article is a supporting article for the main article | Queensland Container Refund Scheme.

Recycling Percentages

Before the start of the Container Refund Scheme recycling rate was 45% but immediately afterwards it dropped to 38.5% before increasing to 41.6% 4 months later however the claims from Government and Container Exchange was that they were recycling 62%!

This is easily proven incorrect yet the media have not picked up on this and the only other questions around this have been from from an interstate environmental group who calculated it at 33% and were attacked by Container Exchange and protected by the Minister who claimed there was no need for an audit.

  • Recycling Rate 2017-2018 FY = 45%

Containers for Change started on the 1st of November 2018

  • Recycling Rate 11/2018 to 06/2019 = 38.5% (calculated)
  • Recycling Rate 11/2018 to 10/2019 = 62% (claimed)
  • Recycling Rate 11/2018 to 10/2019 = 41.6% (calculated)

Reduction in Litter

One claim that has been thrown into the Container Exchange Annual Report for 2018-2019 on page 8 is the 35% reduction in litter between November 1 2018 to presumably the end of January 2019 which is a 3 month period.

Container Exchange Annual Report for 2018-2019 on page 8

The Minister said that there was a reduction in litter in the environment of about 35% in a media statement on the 7th of September 2019 | 800 million containers now returned through Containers for Change. No mention was made that this was beverage container litter and this is another deliberate attempt to overestimate the benefits of a flawed scheme.

Minister Enoch said across Queensland, the container refund scheme had helped reduce litter in the environment by about 35%.

Leeanne Enoch | 800 million containers now returned through Containers for Change

Details of this survey can only be found in the Department of Environment and Science Annual Report for 2018-2019 on page 36 where there was an omission that this was as survey conducted in February 2019.

Department of Environment and Science Annual Report for 2018-2019 on page 36

Calculations

A number of figures have been supplied by the Queensland State Government for the total number of bottles and cans covered by the Container Refund Scheme.

Neary 3 Billion by the Minister responsible at the time Dr Steven Miles in the Implementing Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme Discussion paper from April 2017.

In a Media Statement by Steven Miles on the 22nd of July 2016 he quoted the figure of 2.4 Billion and this figure has been used by numerous media and other organisations as late as 2019. As this is the lower figure this will be used for calculations as it will only increase the percentage.

In the Queensland Productivity Commission report on Container Refund Scheme Price Monitoring Review the claim is 2.8 Billion containers per year. The final report is here.

Containers Exchange claimed a 63% redemption rate based on 38% via Container Refund Points and 25% via material recovery facilities (council etc).

To estimate costs (Table 4.1), the Commission used scheme prices and data on volumes provided by COEX. The data includes the volumes of eligible containers sold in Queensland per month, by material type, for the period 1 November 2018 to 30 April 2019.

The direct cost of the scheme per container ranges between 4.59 and 5.36 cents, depending on the type of material in containers. The predicted container redemption rate is 63 per cent, which implies an average refund of 6.3 cents per container.
To calculate the direct cost of the scheme, the Commission took the total of 1.4 billion containers sold into the market in the first six months of the scheme’s operation 4 and, for each month, categorised the volumes by material type and then multiplied those volumes by the scheme price for that type of material.

4 Redemption rates used included: (a) 38 per cent returned through container refund points; and (b) 25 per cent returned through material recovery facilities. Data supplied by COEX.

August 2019 | Container Refund Scheme Price Monitoring Review

It’s not possible to work it out from the initial figures in the first Annual Report as there are loans included in the amount and containers by customers were stored from before the scheme started and cashed in based on the large numbers the first weeks of operation.

Recycling Rate 2017-2018 FY = 45%
Containers Sold in 2017-2018 Financial Year = 2.4 BILLION
Recycling Rate for 2017-2018 FY = 45% *1
*1 Thanks a billion: Container scheme transforms Queensland recycling

Recycling Rate 11/2018 to 06/2019 = 38.5%
Containers Sold in 11/2018 to 06/2019 = 1.6 BILLION *1
Calculated Recycling Rate 11/2018 to 06/2019 = 38.5%*2
Claimed Recycling Numbers 11/2018 to 06/2019 = 617 MILLION*3
*1 Using the 2017-2018 figure across eight month period.
*2 .617/1.6 = 38.5%
*3 Container Exchange Annual Report 2018-2019
[Note: using the figures in the annual report for 2018-2019 show this figure to by 28% based on income from containers and payments to customers – as this was the first year of operation this figure may be slightly distorted so will not be used for this calculation]

Recycling Rate 11/2018 to 10/2019 = 62% or 41.6%
Containers Sold November 2018 to October 2019 = 2.4 BILLION
Claimed Recycling Rate 11/2018 to 10/2019 = 62% *1
Calculated Recycling Rate 11/2018 to 10/2019 = 41.6% *2
Claimed Recycling Numbers 11/2018 to 10/2019 = 1 BILLION
*1 Thanks a billion: Container scheme transforms Queensland recycling
*2 1/2.4 = 41.6%
[The TEC survey claims a 33% recycling rate, this is assumed to be based on the 3 Billion container figure so I have not included it above but it shows how far the Queensland Government supplied figures are from the truth.]

Low to Mid 30s Claims

In 2017-18, the figure improved to 45 per cent.

Now, after the first 12 months of the state government-backed cash for containers scheme, the rate is 62 per cent.

Containers for Change spokesman Adam Nicholson said COEX – the company that runs the scheme – calculated Queensland’s recycling rate after the billion cans were recycled since November 2018.

“We were the worst-littered state and we were down in the low to mid 30s for our recycling rate,” Mr Nicholson said.

Thanks a billion: Container scheme transforms Queensland recycling | 1st of November 2019

44% and 3 Billion Containers

The main page of the Container Exchange and Containers for Change Website states the 44% figure for the year before they started operation along with the 3 Billion containers per year.

In recent years, Queensland has had one of the lowest recycling rates in Australia at around 44%. Each year, around 3 billion drink containers are generated in Queensland alone and are the second most littered item.

11th of April 2020 | Container Exchange Main Page
11th of April 2020 | Container Exchange Main Page
11th of April 2020 | Containers for Change Main Page

$25 Million to Charity Organisations

Steven Miles the Minister responsible at the time included a claim in a media statement on the 22nd of July 2016 that $25 million could be made by community organisations each year. In the 8 months from November 2018 to June 2019 a total of $863,897 was paid to Charities and Community Groups [page 8 – Financial Report].

Minister claims Queensland Container Recycling Scheme a “Resounding Success” amongst Criticism

The Criticism

After criticism of the Queensland Containers for Change recycling scheme by a Sydney based environmental lobby group following a review in February 2020, Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the scheme has been a “resounding success”.

Looking at the figures for the first 8 months of operation show that the scheme had revenue of $195 million from consumer deposits and a return to customers of only $55 million. The remainder was used to run an efficient, wasteful and damaging to the environment scheme. This is a 28% container return rate and by 2022 the target is 85% from a system that is unworkable.

According to the Minister Leeanne Enoch not only is this World Class but this is a Resounding Success!

This article is a supporting article for the main article | Queensland Container Refund Scheme.

Similar findings and complaints have been raised on this website and there are many complaints from users of the service that mirror the claims made by the lobby group.

In the Brisbane Times article NSW lobby group slams Queensland’s ‘ramshackle’ recycling scheme on the 8th of April 2020, Container Exchange went further and called the Total Environment Centre’s report a “bad faith survey” and claimed the figures were “wrong” before going on to claim a link between a “rival container refund scheme” in NSW and the TEC.

A furious CoEx spokesperson Adam Nicholson said Queensland’s scheme was “deliberately a mix” of large operators (TOMRA and Envirobank) supported by myriad small businesses, which are now affected by coronavirus.

“The Containers for Change scheme has been very popular with Queenslanders in its first 18 months of operation and there is strong competition for the remaining opportunities to participate,” he said.

“We are aware that several of our larger operators are lobbying for more opportunities, in southeast Queensland especially.”

TEC said their survey was run between February 22 and March 9 this year before the impact of coronavirus closed businesses.

TEC’s executive director, Jeff Angel, said Queensland’s system was “ramshackle”, with a variety of refund points.

“A lot of these refund points do not work very well, or do not exist,” Mr Angel said. “It’s just not a robust system that can sustain convenience and high recycling rates.

“We are now calling on the Queensland government to subject the Container Refund Scheme to a comprehensive in-depth review and have power to exert greater control over CoEx.”

Mr Angel said the first billion containers collected by November 2019 reflected a 33 per cent recycling rate.

“Their target [CoEx’s] is 85 per cent by 2022, set by the government. But there doesn’t seem to be any intention to increase the number of refund points.

“They really have to reach 2 billion containers in this coming year. They are not going to achieve that.”

Mr Nicholson questioned the timing and funding behind the survey.

“I would question the motivation, and the funding source, of a NSW not-for-profit sending resources across the border to check opening hours and days of Queensland businesses at a time when most of NSW was focused on the deadly pandemic arriving on our shores.”

Container Exchange spokesperson Adam Nicholson is engaged in shooting the messenger instead of answering the issues raised. These are the same issues this website have raised and the comments of real customers have echoed these. The Queensland Container Refund Scheme is a nothing but a sham operation that is poorly run, is inefficient and damaging to the environment.

The TEC Findings

What the Total Environment Centre found in CoEx’s Queensland scheme:

  • The 44 over-the-counter manual and reverse vending machine depots (run by recycling giant TOMRA) worked very well;
  • Of 129 refund point locations reviewed, 14 did not exist or were closed and 35 were not operating correctly;
  • Many bag drop sites had no signage other than on the container, at times making it hard to locate the recycling site;
  • Many of the 64 bag drop sites did not provide bags or directions on how to obtain bags to put into the counting container;
  • Doubts exist that the scheme can help achieve the required 85 per cent recycling rate.

What does Queensland’s scheme consist of?

  • 64 bag drops (13 Gold Coast, 9 Logan, 5 Ipswich, 14 central/East Brisbane, 9 north Brisbane, 11 Sunshine Coast/Noosa, 3 Moreton Bay)
  • 35 over-the-counter depots (6 Gold Coast, 7 Logan, 5 Ipswich, 4 central/East Brisbane, 5 north Brisbane, 3 Sunshine Coast/Noosa, 5 Moreton Bay)
  • 7 mobile/pop-up points (4 Ipswich, 1 central/East Brisbane, 2 Moreton Bay)
  • 9 reverse vending machine (RVM)/drop-off depots (1 Gold Coast, 2 Logan, 2 Ipswich, 2 central/East Brisbane, 1 north Brisbane, 1 Sunshine Coast/Noosa)
  • 14 centres did not exist or were closed (5 Gold Coast, 8 north Brisbane, 1 Moreton Bay)

The Minister

In the Brisbane Times article Qld recycling scheme a ‘resounding success’ so no audit needed, says minister published on the 9th of April 202 the Minster Leeanne Enoch said the system was operating efficiently.

Containers for Change has been a resounding success

Queenslanders are passionate about recycling and we’ve seen that, with the return of over 1.6 billion containers so far.

That’s over $160 million in refunds that has been returned to individuals, schools and charities.

The scheme has also created over 700 new jobs, many in regional Queensland.

In establishing the Queensland scheme, we learned from the mistakes of New South Wales and established a model that creates jobs, while also ensuring people can return their containers in a variety of different ways

That includes the depots, bag drops and reverse vending machines, as well as mobile services to ensure rural and remote communities have access to the scheme.

Obviously from the results, you can see this is working

Our government established the container refund scheme in November 2018 and we regularly monitor its performance

In the first six months of its operation, an independent assessment of the scheme was undertaken, and the Department of Environment and Science has been acting on its findings to make sure Containers for Change continues to deliver this service for Queenslanders.

CoEx … has targets that have been established in legislation for container recovery and container refund point accessibility,” she said. “Those targets have not changed.

Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch

Looking at the Queensland scheme it is obvious that it can never achieve its targets and the only way to do this is to follow the European model discussed in the main article. Not only will this help to achieve the 85% target it will reduce the costs to consumers to close to zero.

The Minister however is unable to admit the scheme is a failure so Queenslanders will continue to fork out hundreds of millions for a system that will never achieve meaningful results instead of introducing a system that would provide a high percentage of returns at minimal cost.

The question that has to be asked is WHY?

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk Doesn’t Understand Home Confinement, Movements and Gathering Direction

Is asking for clear communications on what is expected from the Government asking too much? On top of all of the failures from the Queensland Government with the Covid-19 Pandemic including their refusal and/or inability to identify which suburbs are the worst affected, now the Premier shows she doesn’t understand the laws nor their purpose and cannot explain what an area or what a local is.

Any decent politician would know that having clear rules is essential to public support during this time but QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk fully supports the issuing of infringement notices based on an undefined definition of a local or an area. Why not ensure that the rules (that have changed multiple times even within hours of being put in place) are well communicated and clear?

The discussion around the Gold Coast beaches and locals and areas starts at 5:51 and is with the QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Channel Nine’s Karl Stefanovic and Ally Langdon.

Our frontline workers are in the battlefield

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Ally asks the Premier about the beaches on the Gold coast because “..we’re told they’re closed but you can exercise. Does that mean you can swim.”

Ok Ally, the Mayor made the decision to close the beaches, the three beaches on the Gold Coast. He spoke to me about it and I backed him in his decision, uhm, they’ve also closed the car parks. What he is saying is if you are local, you are allowed to go for a walk, but if you are not local you should not be coming down to the beach to do your exercise. You should be doing your exercise in your local area.

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Karl – Such a weird message.

Such a clear message and …

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Karl – So if someone is not a local and they’re in the area anyway… they can’t even go to the beach but a local can. What’s the point of it?

Why should they be in the area Karl, why should they be in the area. If you’re not local, why should you be in the area?

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Karl – maybe they were there before the lock down.

You can’t be on holiday. There’s no holidays.

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Karl – What if you’re across the road, what if you’re five kms away can you go for a walk on that same beach, what if you’re six and not exactly in that area. This is where it falls down.

Well if you’re a local you should be able to go, there is nothing wrong with that. If you’re in the Gold Coast area you should be able to go for a walk around your local area. I don’t think we can get caught up in technicalities here. What we need to say very clearly is that now is not the time for a holiday. If you live locally, go and walk locally. If you don’t live locally, stay in your suburb and celebrate family… celebrate Easter with your family.

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Ally – So that is a no to swimming in the ocean even if you’re a local? Right?

Look no, my understanding is that if you are a local that you’re allowed to go for a swim and come out. But you would have to talk to the Mayor about that, he’s made the rules about the beaches on the Gold Coast.

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Karl – I’d be interested to see what the definition of a local is.

The worst part about this interview is that the QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk shows no concern that the laws are not clear, does not understand herself the basics of the laws that she is promoting and is giving incorrect and misleading information.

Scenarios that she clearly cannot fathom include

  • People from other areas, states or countries that are in that area at a hotel or family members residence. According to the Premier these people cannot go to the beach at all.
  • More to come soon.

The Public Health Direction states clearly that one of the permissible reasons you may leave the house is to exercise (see the full directive at the end of this article).

Home Confinement requirements in Queensland
6. A person who resides in Queensland must not leave their principal place of residence except for, and only to the extent reasonably necessary to accomplish, the following permitted purposes:
c. to engage in physical exercise;

There is no definition of area nor local, it does not say you cannot drive to the area, or walk, or catch a bus or anything else. It says that you can leave your residence to engage in physical exercise.

Anyone who is issued a Penalty Infringement Notice under these circumstance should consider appealing the decision by following the instructions on the rear, if that appeal fails, all you have done is given yourself more time to pay if you don’t want to appeal this in court.

Home Confinement, Movement and Gathering Direction

Summary

Effective from: 11.59pm on 2 April 2020

Posted: 2 April 2020

Direction from Chief Health Officer in accordance with emergency powers arising from the declared public health emergency

Public Health Act 2005 (Qld)

Section 362B

On 29 January 2020, under the Public Health Act 2005, the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services made an order declaring a public health emergency in relation to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The public health emergency area specified in the order is for ‘all of Queensland’. Its duration has been extended by regulation to 19 May 2020 and may be further extended.

Further to this declaration, l, Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer, reasonably believe it is necessary to give the following directions pursuant to the powers under s 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Preamble

  1. This Public Health Direction replaces the following Public Health Directions:
    1. the Home Confinement Direction given on 29 March 2020;
    2. the Mass Gatherings Direction (No 2) given on 21 March 2020;
    3. the Restrictions in Private Residences Direction given on 27 March 2020.
  2. This Public Health Direction is to be read in conjunction with other Public Health Directions issued under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 that have not expired or been revoked.

Citation

  1. This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Home Confinement, Movement and Gathering Direction.

Revocation

  1. The following Public Health Directions are revoked effective from 11:59 pm on 2 April 2020:
    1. the Home Confinement Direction given on 29 March 2020;
    2. the Mass Gatherings Direction (No 2) given on 21 March 2020;
    3. the Restrictions in Private Residences Direction given on 27 March 2020.

PART 1 — DIRECTION – HOME CONFINEMENT, MOVEMENT AND GATHERING

  1. This direction applies from 11:59 pm on 2 April 2020 until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless it is revoked or replaced.

Home Confinement requirements in Queensland

  1. A person who resides in Queensland must not leave their principal place of residence except for, and only to the extent reasonably necessary to accomplish, the following permitted purposes:
    1. to obtain food or other essential goods or services;
    2. to obtain medical treatment or other health care services;
    3. to engage in physical exercise;
    4. to perform work or volunteering, or carry out or conduct an essential business, activity or undertaking, and the work, business activity or undertaking to be performed is of a nature that cannot reasonably be performed from the person’s principal place of residence;
    5. to visit another person’s residence in accordance with paragraph 9;
    6. education and early childhood workers may travel to and from their home centre over the term 1 break;
    7. to visit a terminally ill relative or to attend a funeral or wedding, subject to any applicable restrictions under other relevant Public Health Directions;
    8. to provide assistance, care or support to an immediate family member;
    9. to attend any court or tribunal of Australia or to comply with or give effect to orders of the court or tribunal of Australia;
    10. to attend a childcare facility, school, university, or other educational institution, to the extent care or instruction cannot reasonably be obtained in the person’s principal place of residence;
    11. to assist with or participate in an investigation or other action by a law enforcement authority, whether voluntarily or not;
    12. for children under 18 years who do not live in the same household as their biological parents or siblings or one of their parents or siblings, continuing existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children and siblings, but not allowing access or contact with vulnerable groups or persons;Example of a vulnerable group or person – a person over 70 years or a person with a medical condition that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19
    13. avoiding injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm;Example – escaping a risk of harm related to domestic and family violence
    14. to comply with or give effect to the exercise of a power or function of a government agency or entity under a law.

Outdoor gatherings of up to 2 persons or with members of household

  1. Subject to paragraph 8, a person who leaves their principal place of residence for a permitted purpose under paragraph 6 may be accompanied by members of their household or, alternatively, by no more than one person who is not a member of their household.
  2. If a person requires physical assistance to leave their principal place of residence or it is reasonably necessary for the safety of the person or the public, and there is no other reasonable way for a purpose under paragraph 6 to be achieved, a person may be accompanied by more than one person who is not a member of their household and who is a carer or support worker for that person.Example – a person with a disability may be accompanied by more than one carer or support worker.

Receiving up to 2 visitors at a residence

  1. Subject to paragraphs 10 to 12, a person who is an owner, resident, tenant, occupier, temporary occupier or person in control of a residence may allow up to two visitors who are not ordinarily members of the person’s household.Examples of visitors – Family members and close friends
  2. Paragraph 9 does not prevent workers or volunteers entering a place of residence and they are not counted as visitors for the purpose of paragraph 9.
  3. Paragraph 9 does not apply to a residential aged care facility, corrective services facility or detention centre.Note – The Aged Care Direction given on 21 March 2020 and the Corrective Services Facility Direction given on 22 March 2020 restrict visitors to those facilities. Other Public Health Directions may be made applying to other types of facilities.
  4. Paragraph 9 does not apply to a residence of a person with disability if it is necessary for more than two people to attend the residence to provide services to the person with disability to meet their support needs.
  5. An owner, resident, tenant, occupier, temporary occupier or person in control of premises, including a residence, must take reasonable steps to encourage occupants of, and visitors to, the premises to practise social distancing to the extent reasonably practicable.

Gatherings in non-residences

  1. A person who owns, controls or operates premises, other than a residence, must not organise or allow a gathering to occur on the premises.

Exemptions

  1. The Queensland Chief Health Officer may grant an exemption to part or all of these directions on compassionate grounds or for other exceptional circumstances.

Definitions

  1. Corrective services facility has the same meaning as in the Corrective Services Act 2006.
  2. Detention centre has the same meaning as in the Youth Justice Act 1992.
  3. Essential business, activity or undertaking means a business, activity or undertaking that is not prohibited by the Non-essential business, activity and undertaking Closure Direction (No.4), or its successor, or another Public Health Direction.
  4. Essential goods or services are food and other supplies, and services, that are needed for the necessities of life and operation of society, such as food, fuel, medical supplies, and other goods.
  5. Household means persons who ordinarily live at the same residence, including if family or kinship customs or cultural obligations have the effect of a person living across multiple residences.
  6. Indoor space means an area, room or premises that is or are substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are:
    1. permanent or temporary; or
    2. open or closed.
  7. Gathering, subject to paragraph 23, means:
    1. a gathering of more than two persons in a single undivided outdoor space at the same time; or
    2. a gathering of more than two persons or more in a single undivided indoor space at the same time.
  8. Gathering does not include a gathering:
    1. at an airport that is necessary for the normal business of the airport;
    2. for the purposes of or related to public transportation, including in vehicles or at public transportation facilities such as stations, platforms and stops;
    3. at a medical or health service facility that is necessary for the normal business of the facilities;
    4. for the purposes of emergency services;
    5. at a residential aged care facility or residence of a person with a disability, that is necessary for the normal business of the facility or residence;
    6. at a prison, correctional facility, youth justice centre or other place of custody;
    7. at a court or tribunal;
    8. at Parliament for the purpose of its normal operations;
    9. at a food market, supermarket, grocery store, retail store or shopping centre that is necessary for the normal business of those premises;
    10. at a workplace, including but not limited to an office building, factory, manufacturing facility, resource extraction, mine or mineral processing facility, utilities or construction sites that is necessary for the normal operation of those premises;
    11. at a school, university, educational institution or childcare facility that is necessary for the normal business of the facility;
    12. at a hotel, motel or accommodation facility, such as a worker camp, that is necessary for the normal operation of accommodation services;
    13. at a wedding or funeral permitted under the Non-essential business, activity and undertaking Closure Direction (No. 4), or its successor, or another Public Health Direction;
    14. at an outdoor place where persons may be present for the purposes of transiting through the place;Example – Queen Street Mall
    15. at an indoor place where persons may be present for the purposes of transiting through the place;Example – Central Station
    16. specified as exempt from this direction by the Chief Health Officer in writing.
  9. Outdoor space means a space that is not an indoor space;
  10. Premises has the same meaning as in Schedule 2 of the Public Health Act 2005, and also includes land and vessels.
  11. Principal place of residence means:
    1. for a person who permanently resides in Queensland, the residence where the person ordinarily resides.
    2. for a person who temporarily resides in Queensland, the residence where the person ordinarily resides when the person in present in Queensland.
  12. Residence means premises used, or intended to be used, as a dwelling or mainly as a dwelling, and includes the land on which the residence is situated, and includes:
    1. a single detached dwelling;
    2. each of one or more attached dwellings that are separated by a common wall;
      Examples for paragraph (b) — villa unit, townhouse, terrace house, row house, unit in an apartment block.
    3. a manufactured home as defined in section 10 of the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003;
    4. a caravan as defined in section 7 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008;
    5. any other building or structure situated on the same land as the premises or dwelling.
      Examples for paragraph (e) – shed, pool house, carport, granny flat. But does not include a corrective services facility or detention centre.
  13. Residence does not include a residential aged care facility, corrective services facility or detention centre.
  14. Residential aged care facility means a facility at which accommodation, and personal care or nursing care or both, are provided to a person in respect of whom a residential care subsidy or a flexible care subsidy is payable under the Aged Care Act 1997 of the Commonwealth.
  15. Resident has the meaning given in section 14 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.
  16. Social distancing includes remaining at least 1.5 metres away from other persons, regular washing of hands and avoiding handshaking.
  17. Tenant has the meaning given in section 13 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.

PART 2 – PENALTIES

A person to whom the direction applies commits an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the direction.

Section 362D of the Public Health Act 2005 provides:

Failure to comply with public health directions

  • A person to whom a public health direction applies must comply with the direction unless the person has a reasonable excuse.
  • Maximum penalty—100 penalty units.

Dr Jeannette Young
Chief Health Officer
2 April 2020

Published on the Queensland Health website at 2 April 2020, 11.35pm

Gladys Berejiklian creates Resilience NSW to cover up Incompetence

The first sentence from Gladys Berejiklian’s press release sums up the levels of idiocracy in our three levels of Government. World-Leading means what exactly? When was the last time someone with a brain said that an Australian Government at any level was “World-Leading”, had planned or prepared for anything from a disaster to growth?

This new agency didn’t just pop up overnight yet there is very little information about it, they have hired 150-200 staff at a cost of $30 million just in wages alone but aside from a press release and a few media interviews no information is forthcoming.

The Press Release

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced the creation of a new NSW Government agency, Resilience NSW, which will drive world-leading disaster preparedness and recovery approach for the NSW community.

This follows Commissioner Fitzsimmons’ retirement after decades of service in the RFS, including 12 years as its leader.

Ms Berejiklian said NSW is proud of Commissioner Fitzsimmons’ role during the recent bushfire season and for his outstanding service over many decades to the RFS.

“The NSW community has shown extraordinary resilience in the face of many disasters – bushfires, drought, flood and now the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We know the next six months will be very difficult but we must already turn our mind to recovery.

“Through Resilience NSW we will re-double our efforts to prevent, prepare and recover from crisis which impact NSW.”

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said he was honoured to have the opportunity to continue to serve the people of NSW in this vital new role, and to work alongside the leadership of the state’s combat agencies.

“Resilience NSW will lead the whole-of-government prevention, preparedness and recovery effort. It will oversee and coordinate emergency management policy, service delivery and all aspects of disaster recovery at a state, national and international level,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“There was never a more important time to make sure that communities devastated by drought, bushfires and now COVID-19 are getting the help they need to rebuild and recover.”

NSW Media Release | 6th of April 2020

The Incompetence of government

The NSW community has shown extraordinary resilience in the face of many disasters – bushfires, drought, flood and now the COVID-19 pandemic

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian | NSW Media Release | 6th of April 2020

Without any doubts all of these so called disasters were exacerbated because of a combination of incompetence and lack of planning by the Local, State and Federal Governments. How an additional layer of bureaucracy will fix issues that run deep into other areas of government is beyond idiocracy.

  • Bushfires were so widespread mainly because of cutbacks to the hazard management in NSW.
  • Drought is down to poor planning and the failure to build dams when you have doubled the population in most places of Australia.
  • Flooding is often exacerbated because of poor planning and allowing homes to be built in inappropriate areas, poor maintenance of stormwater and lack of infrastructure to get rid of flood water quickly from built up areas.
  • Covid-19 is a sterling example from the NSW Government given they allowed the Ruby Princess passengers to disembark in the middle of the night with no checks. Of the 2,700 passengers that disembarked, over 700 were infected and at least fifteen have died (at the 8th of April 2020) and these passengers have travelled all over Australia. This was a failure at the Federal Government level as well but nearly all the blame must lie with the State Government who is responsible for health. A criminal investigation is underway but no doubt the people responsible will be promoted or moved sideways into a new agency or department.

The Agencies Mandate

Resilience NSW will lead the whole-of-government prevention, preparedness and recovery effort. It will oversee and coordinate emergency management policy, service delivery and all aspects of disaster recovery at a state, national and international level

NSW Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons | NSW Media Release | 6th of April 2020

Prevention, Preparedness and Recovery

According to Shane Fitzsimmons the new agency will not only be about prevention but also preparedness and recovery.

Prevention

Does this suggest they will be ordering the building of infrastructure such as dams and stormwater infrastructure? What about ordering hazard reduction in forests? And stopping housing development in low lying flood prone areas? If not how will they PREVENT anything from happening?

Given that the departments and agencies already responsible for these areas are supposed to be responsible how does an additional agency identify these areas? Who is responsible for the failures as now there will be multiple departments and agencies responsible and no doubt finger pointing will ensue.

Preparedness

Preparation entails knowledge of the areas that you are responsible for, this new agency is responsible for everything from a Pandemic to Cyber Security to Drought to Flooding to Fire and beyond.

How will it be in a position to ensure preparedness for the local, state and federal governments to respond when required?

Recovery

Recovery is another vast area and this one agency is going to be responsible for all types of recovery from Cyber Attacks, Pandemics, Drought, Floods to Fires and more. How will it be able to recover when local government resources are required? All levels of government already show they cannot work together particularly when different parties are in power in different levels of government.

State, National and International

Further Shane Fitzsimmons said the new agency will oversee and coordinate emergency management policy, service delivery and all aspects of disaster recovery at a state, national and international level.

State

This is ok as they are a state government agency but will they have the power to direct councils at the local government level?

National

Will Resilience NSW have the power to order other states and the Federal Government what to do? If not this is just fanciful thinking.

International

Exactly what will a “World-Leading” NSW Agency have to offer other countries let along believe that they will be engaged with overseeing and coordinating emergency management policy, service delivery and “all aspects” of disaster recovery?

Staffing

Staffing is currently 150-200 at the outset. Allowing for all the staffing costs and the numerous senior staff that will be involved and working off the 200 staff figure x $150,000 and you have a cost in wages along of $30,000,000 per annum and this will likely double or triple in the months to come to approach $100 million per annum. Add in office space in the CBD, vehicles, infrastructure and travel and this is becoming a $200 million agency but time will tell as no details have been released.

The team itself is probably about 150 people, less than 200 people at the moment

NSW Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons

Infrastructure

Is the agency Resilience NSW going to outsource it’s infrastructure to cloud providers as required by the NSW Government or run everything in house? Given it’s role includes Cyber attacks on infrastructure, logic would suggest it would run it in house so an attack on the poorly secured infrastructure in Australia would not see it cut off from it’s information.

As usual this information is not available.

Alternatives to the Resilience NSW Agency

There are multiple departments and agencies that should or do perform the roles of the new Resilience NSW Agency.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet

The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) leads the NSW public sector to deliver on the NSW Government’s commitments and priorities.

Our mission is to enhance the lives of the people of NSW by driving priorities, brokering outcomes and delivering programs and services.

We support the NSW Premier and Ministers by:

– carrying out a coordinated policy, project and reform agenda that boosts the efficiency, productivity and effectiveness of NSW
– partnering with NSW Government agencies, as well as the private, not-for-profit and academic sectors, to ensure that services are delivered on time, within budget and to the community’s expectations
– coordinating the initiatives of Ministers and their agencies to achieve the government’s targets
– managing the passage of government legislation
– supporting the delivery of major projects
– coordinating and planning significant state events
– working with the federal government and other state and territory governments on national reforms.

About the Department | Department of Premier and Cabinet Website

The Minister for Emergency Services

What exactly does the Office of Emergency Management do?

Looking at the OEM it appears that they do everything the his new agency is going to do and more. They already have a minister responsible (even if he did take a European holiday in the middle of the bush fires in NSW).


St​ate Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC)

This section is directly from the Office of Emergency Management Website on the 7th of April 2020.

When an emergency occurs that is not under the control of a Combat Agency (as defined in the State Emergency Management Plan​), the State Emergency Operations Controller (SEOCON) assumes control. The SEOCON is supported in this role by the State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC).

The SEOC has the necessary staff and communications equipment to control the emergency operation. When an emergency occurs that is under the control of a Combat Agency the SEOC may support that agency in controlling the emergency.

Roles of the State​ Emergency Operations Centre

The main roles of the SEOC during an emergency operation are:

  • To control the emergency operation
  • To plan for the ongoing emergency operation
  • To plan acquire and allocate resources
  • To provide public information about the emergency operation.

In addition to this operational role, the SEOC collects, stores and disseminates information to support emergency operations.​


NSW Emergency Management Arrangements

This section is directly from the Office of Emergency Management Website on the 7th of April 2020.

​The community of New South Wales lives with a variety of natural and technological hazards. The more common hazards are floods, severe storms, and bushfires but other events such as exotic animal disease, major aircraft crashes and earthquakes are possible.

Most incidents are handled using standard procedures, however, if an event requires a significant and coordinated response, then this is termed an emergency.

The New South Wales Government acknowledges the inevitable nature of emergencies and their social, economic and environmental consequences. Accordingly, it recognises the need for a co-ordinated response by all agencies having roles or responsibilities in such emergencies.

A number of Acts of Parliament set out the duties and responsibilities of the emergency services. The State Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989 (as Amended) is the Act that provides the legislative basis for co-ordination of emergency preparedness, response and recovery operations.

The Act provides for:

  • the preparation of the Emergency Management Plan (EMPLAN) and subordinate plans to ensure a co-ordinated response for necessary operations;
  • the establishment of Emergency Management Committees at State, Regional and Local Government levels; and
  • arrangements for controlling emergency operations.

The State Emergency Management Plan​​

The key element of emergency management planning in NSW is the Emergency Management Plan (EMPLAN). The objective of EMPLAN is to ensure a co-ordinated response by all agencies having responsibilities and functions in emergencies.

EM​PL​AN

  • identifies the combat agency primarily responsible for responding to the emergency;
  • specifies the tasks to be performed by all agencies in the event of an emergency;
  • provides for the co-ordination of the activities of other agencies in support of the combat agencies; and
  • specifies the responsibilities of the Minister and the State, Region, or Local Emergency Operations Controller.

Planning below State level​​

An important principle of Emergency Planning in NSW is that local communities have a greater insight into the needs and resources of their support of the wider community. Accordingly, EMPLAN devolves control and co-ordination of emergency operations and the responsibility for preparedness, response and recovery to the lowest possible level but lays out a structure by which these resources may be augmented by Region and State resources if the Local level resources cannot cope.

Combat agen​cies

A combat agency is the agency with the specific expertise and equipment to deal with the effects of designated hazards. The agency responsible for each major hazard is designated in EMPLAN.

Animal Health Emergency
NSW Agriculture 

Aviation Emergency
Emergency Operations Controller 

Bushfire
NSW Rural Fire Service 

Fire (Urban)
Fire and Rescue NSW 

Flood Storm, Tempest
NSW State Emergency Service 

Hazardous Materials
Land based: Fire and Rescue NSW
State waters: NSW Maritime and NSW Port Corporations
Inland waters: Fire and Rescue NSW 

Marine Oil Spill
NSW Maritime and NSW Port Corporations

Sub-Plans: planning for specific hazards

A Sub-Plan is a plan developed to counter a specific hazard, where the planning required is either more specialised or more detailed than that provided for in EMPLAN.

The following Sub-Plans have been produced:

  • Animal Health Emergency (Exotic Animal Disease)
  • Aviation Emergency
  • Bushfire
  • Flood
  • Hawkesbury/Nepean Flood Emergency
  • Major Structural Collapse
  • Marine Oil & Chemical Spill
  • Storm

Supporting Plans: plan​​ning for a coordinated response

Emergencies can develop to the point where a combat agency requires support, assistance, and advice from other agencies. Displan identifies Functional Areas and requires “Functional Area Supporting Plans” to be produced to ensure appropriate support is provided for the efficient supply of the necessary assistance. The following supporting plans have been developed:

  • Agriculture and Animal Services
  • Disaster Recovery Human Services
  • Engineering Services
  • Environmental Services
  • Health Services
  • Public Information Services
  • Transport Services

Emergency Ma​​​nagement Committees

Emergency Management Committees are established at State, Region, and Local Government levels. The Minister appoints the Chairperson of the State Emergency Management Committee. Regional Emergency Operations Controllers chair the Regional Emergency Management Committees, and Local Government Councils provide chairpersons for the local committees. Membership includes the heads of the Emergency Service organisations at each level and representatives of the functional areas. At state level, the Department of Infrastructure, Planning & Natural Resources, the Department of Local Government, the Premier’s Department, and Treasury are also represented. Functional areas are not represented at local government level unless their structures extend to that level.

Control of op​erations

Where a combat agency is designated in EMPLAN, the head of the Combat Agency controls the operation. Where no combat agency is designated, control of the operation is vested in the Emergency Operations Controller.

At State level the State Emergency Operations Controller (SEOCON) is appointed by the Governor. Emergency Operations Controllers (who are also Police Officers) are also appointed at Region and Local levels.

Emergency Operations Controllers co-ordinate support or assist in co-ordinating support to a combat agency when requested by the Head of a combat agency.

Summary

What the new Agency does apart from check on other departments and agencies is unknown. Why isn’t this being undertaken by the NSW premier’s department whom surely the responsibility lies that the departments and agencies are doing their job? And what about the Office of Emergency Management that already does what the new agency does and more?

Another agency costing $200 million or more to perform checks that Departments are doing the job they are paid to do is absurd.

This new agency is duplicating the role of the ministers and the heads of these departments and agencies. The Premier should be putting competent people in these positions that are held criminally responsible for failure and as the the Premier of NSW they should also be held responsible for the failures of their departments and agencies.

This is like the changes to government that occur with newly elected politicians that want to be seen to be doing something so they split or merge departments at massive cost and disruption to “save” money or provide “better” services. How many times have Transport and Main Roads been merged and split in Queensland for example.

The Australian States need a core set of Departments like Transport, Main Roads, Education, Emergency Services and Health that are set and cannot be changed, merged or split at the whim of a new government. Each of these departments would be headed by ONE Minister and not multiple like we see now in some states like Queensland for example. Ideally in the future these departments that are working the same in each state would merge to remove the duplication and confusion between states as well as duplicated licensing costs for workers that operate in multiple states.

No doubt the other states will follow quickly with rushed agencies to perform similar tasks and each will want to outdo the others.

Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme is Utter Rubbish!

Queensland Container Refund Sham Scheme

A Container Refund Scheme introduced in 2018 after over 2 years of planning should be a well thought out and planned cost effective scheme that works from the outset with minimal change required by those using it? Right? Well not in Queensland nor the rest of Australia it seems.

Far far away in Germany they have a container refund scheme (called the Pfandsystem – the German word for Deposit is Pfand) that just works (well mostly but more on this later), visit almost any supermarket or bottle shop and deposit your bottles or cans (containers) into a Reverse Vending Machine at the entry and receive a coupon that is redeemable in that store for goods or cash.

So what system did they choose in Queensland? Surely we would have learnt from the South Australia system that requires people to drive to depots and queue on a Saturday morning to cash in their containers? Not really because in Queensland we have chosen to have Container Refund Points that are mostly manual sorting and counting with the occasional Reverse Vending Machine. If you use one of the rare Reverse Vending Machine locations it depends on the recycling company as to how you are paid.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch knows the Queensland scheme is under the spotlight by other states.

“Our scheme has been developed following extensive consultation, and we are proud with the model that has been developed,” Ms Enoch said.

This extensive consultation was a four week period of public submissions where they received 2600 individual submissions and 34 from Organisations. Breaking down the individual figure shows that 1724 were via a petition by the Australian Marine Conservation Society, a further 858 from members of the Boomerang Alliance (I assume form letters) which means there were only 18 real submissions and one of these was against a Container Refund Scheme.

To be proud of the model that they “developed” is hard to understand, they copied the same outdated model that the other states have adopted and have ignored overseas experience.

Implementing Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme – Discussion Paper

Implementing the Container Refund Scheme in Queensland – Results of consultation

Waste Reduction and Recycling (Container Refund Scheme) Regulation 2018

COEX Board Acting Chair Alby Taylor said

“Our aim is to build a sustainable, world-class container refund scheme.”

Queensland Government Media Statement Sunday October 21, 2018

The phrase world-class is thrown around by politicians when trying to sell us on their idiotic plans by pretending to the masses that we are among the world’s best and this usage of the phrase is no exception.

world-class [wurld-klas, -klahs]
ranking among the world’s best; outstanding:  [Dictionary.com]
being of the highest caliber in the world: [Merriam-Webster]

It will become apparent that the Queensland Container Refund Scheme is as far from world-class that you can get.

Operation

The scheme is operated by COEX (Containers Exchange) that operates under the name Containers for Change and funded by the beverage manufacturers who have to pay the operating costs that range from the cost of collection, sorting, counting, transport and so on but they have passed these costs on to the consumer.

Every three months the cost of the scheme will be reassessed and adjusted.

Mr Alby Taylor, Container Exchange Board Chair, indicated that the estimated weighted average cost for the start of the Queensland scheme was 10.2 cents per container supplied.

Material Type [source]Cents per unit sold (ex GST)
Aluminium9.9
Glass10.5
HDPE10.6
PET10.3
LPB10.6
Expected weighted average by number of containers sold 10.2

This example from Woolworths shows a 24 pack of Coke at $20 will now cost $22.72. GST is also paid on the deposit but this is not refunded so effectively you pay 11c per container plus a share of the running costs and you are only refunded 10c per container.

$20 + $2.47 deposit and administration + $0.25 GST = $22.72.

24 containers x 10.2c = $2.45 extra, the Woolworths example is 11.3c. The public have been misled again.

In Germany the cost of the product is shown separately and the Pfand is shown as an additional price on the shelf. This is much more transparent and the other benefit of showing it as a separate price is that you know what you can return to get your deposit back.

The cost of operation for 8 months (November 2018 to June 2019) was

  • Revenue of $195,573,000 (deposit on containers sold and sale of recycled goods).
  • Container Refund Expense of $54,800,000 (refund to consumers for deposits)
  • Surplus after costs $27,927,000 (profit)
  • Operation costs $140,773,000

Only around 28% was returned to consumers, the rest was taken in running costs in what is an incredibly inefficient operation.

Full details can be found in the Container Exchange Annual Report 2018-2019 | Queensland Container Refund Scheme

Refunds

There are a multitude of options for Refunds and these vary from site to site and from region to region (there are 14 different regions setup for this scheme). Bottles and cans purchased from another state are not eligible for the refund.

Aside from the issues with Container Refund Points in the next section just getting paid can be an exercise in frustration requiring lengthy complaints to obtain small refunds.

Bank Account

You can create a Scheme Account with Containers for Change (COEX) and supply your bank details for refunds into your bank account. There are a number of references to an app called Containers for Change but this does not seem to exist. Many of the Container Refund Points will be Drop-off where you drop off your containers in bags and these are manually counted with the deposit transferred to your bank account two to three weeks later.

Cash

Some Container Refund Points will offer cash refunds.

Donation

Most Container Refund Points will offer donations as an option.

PayPal

At TOMRA sites you can link their app with your PayPal account and receive your refund from Reverse Vending Machines this way.

Voucher

TOMRA sites are affiliated with Woolworths and will offer you a Woolsworths voucher, Envirobank sites are affiliated with Coles and will offer you a Coles voucher. The voucher at TOMRA sites will be via the app if you used it otherwise it will be via paper voucher.

Recycling Locations (Container Refund Points)

The government claims that over 230 CRPs are available from day one however the 241 on the list that 40 are TBA! See list below. There are only 201 locations available from day one according to the list provided by the government and further some of the locations are “pop up” facilities that will only operate on an part-time basis like weekends.

A searchable map is available on the Containers for Change Website.

There are five types of Contain Refund Points, depots, drop-offs, Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs), mobile and pop-ups, and Donation Points.

The population of Queensland is 4.691 million (December 2013) so there is one site per 23,338 people.

SuburbAddressType
Acacia Ridge28 Elizabeth Street - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Agnes Waters91 Rocky CrossingMobile - CQ Recycling
Albany CreekAlbany Creek Road and Wruck CrescentDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Alexandra Headland167 Alexandra ParadeDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
AllenstownTBADrop off
AnnandaleAnnandale CentralDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
AnnerleyTBADrop off - Return-It
Arana Hills5/131 Bunya RoadDepot - U Can Recycle
Archerfield17 Boniface Street - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Arundel11 Byth Street - AEIOUDrop off - Return-It
Ashmore1/16 Hinde StreetDepot - Envirobank Recycling
AspleyAspley HypermarketDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
AthertonRailway Line - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Banyo915 Nudgee RoadDepot - Envirobank Recycling
BargaraTBADrop off - Return-It
Beenleigh61 Alamein Street - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
BenowaBenowa VillageDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Bigerra WatersTreasure Cove Shopping Centre - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Biggenden27 Edward StretMobile - U Can Recycle
BilingaBilinga Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Biloela156 Calvale RoadDepot - Biloela Recycling
BlackwaterCapricorn HighwayDepot - Kanga Bins
BoonahHigh Street - VinniesDepot - Return-It
BowenBowen Bowls ClubDrop off - Anything Environmental
Brendale256 Leitchs Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
BrightonTBADrop off - Return-It
BroadbeachKurrawa Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Bromelton36 Waste Facility RoadDrop off - Beaudesert Transfer Station
Browns Plains58 Eastern Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Browns PlainsCnr Browns Plains Road and Mt Lindesay HighwayDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
BucasiaTBADrop off - Anything Environmental
Buderim10 Kayleigh DriveDepot - Envirobank Recycling
Bundaberg31-33 Victoria StreetDepot - ABC Recycling
Bundaberg78 University DriveDepot - Impact Community Services
Bundaberg70 Princess Street - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
Bundaberg North4/121 George StreetDepot - CQ Recycling
BundallTBADrop off - Return-It
Bungalow152 Newell StreetDepot - IMODE
Burkedin32876 Bruce HighwayDepot - AMDETT Services and Plastic Recycling
Burleigh Heads5-7 Kortum Drive - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Burleigh WatersTBADrop off - Return-It
Burleigh WatersTreetops PlazaDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Burnett Heads699 Bundaberg-Bargara RoadMobile - CQ Recycling
Burpengary290 Bruce Highway - Eastern Service Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
BurpengaryBurpengary Central Shopping CentreDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Caboolture16 Machinery ParadeDepot - Caboolture Scrap Metal
Caboolture686 The Abbey PlaceDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
CairnsFranzmann StreetDepot - Palm Tree Recyclers
CalliopeCalliope Bunting Park - Archer StreetMobile - CQ Recycling
Caloundra1 Spender LaneDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Cannon HillTBADrop off - Return-It
Cannonvale3102 Shute Harbour Road - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Canungra2036 Beaudesert - Nerang RoadDrop Off - Canungra Transfer Station
Capalaba16/82 Redland Bay RoadDepot - Advanced Metal Recyclers
Capalaba6 Merrit Street (Lifeline)Drop off - Return-It
Capalaba7/71 Redland Bay Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Capella5 Hibernia RoadDepot - Kanga Bins
Charters Towers50 Aland StreetDepot - Cash 4 Containers
CherbourgStan Mickelo DriveDepot - Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council
Childers71 Churchill StreetMobile - U Can Recycle
Chinchilla19 Malduf StreetDepot - Western Downs Outreach Project
ClermontClermont Grand HotelDrop off - Anything Environmental
Cleveland25-32 Shore Street - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
CollinsvilleStanley StreetDrop off - Anything Environmental
Coochiemudlo IslandCoochiemudlo Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
CooktownMacMillan StreetDepot - Auwaste
Coolangatta2 Snapper Rocks RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Coolum Beach1775-1779 David Low WayDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Crestmead67-69 Rai DriveDepot - TOMRA
Currajong216-230 Woolcock Street - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Currumbin741 Pacific ParadeDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Dalby95 Cunningham Street - LifelieDrop off - Return-It
Darra18 Sumners RoadDepot - The Big Red Shed
DeeragunTBCMobile drop off
Dicky BeachDicky Beach Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
DraytonAnzac Avenue and Boothby Street - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
Dugandan10 Evans RoadDrop off - Boonah Transfer Station
DystartJolly Collier HotelDrop off - Anything Environmental
Eagleby104 River Hills Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Earlville479 Mulgrave Road - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Emerald10 Glasson StreetDepot - Return-It
Emu ParkEmu Park, Scenic HwyDepot - Kanga Bins
Esk2 Heap StreetMobile - Pipeliner Park
Fernvale1483 Brisbane Valley HighwayMobile - Fernvale Futures Centre
Forest LakeTBADrop off - The Big Red Shed
Garbutt37-41 Mackley StreetDepot - Return-It
Gatton64 Fords RoadDepot - Gatton Tip Shop
Gatton9 Byrne Street - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
GayndahBurnett HotelMobile - U Can Recycle
Geebung428 Bilsen RoadDepot - TOMRA
Geebung8 Railway Parade - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Gladstone66 Yarroon StreetDepot - CQ Recycling
Gladstone29 Chappell StreetDepot - Kanga Bins
GladstoneTBADrop off - Return-It
Goondiwindi81 Hungerford StreetDepot - E&E Waste
Gordonvale62 Norman Street - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Gordonvale1 Brody StreetDepot - Cash 4 Containers
GracemereCorner of Allen Road and Lucas StreetDepot - Kanga Bins
GympieSmith StreetDepot - Return-It
Hervey Bay9 Industrial AvenueDrop off - Cleanaway
HillcrestTBADrop off - Return-It
Howard79 William StreetMobile - U Can Recycle
InalaTBADrop off - The Big Red Shed
Ingham21 Challands StreetDepot - MAMS
Inglewood750 Pump Station RoadDrop Off - E&E Waste
Innisfail5-7 Dickson RoadDepot - MAMS
Innisfail42 Ernest Street - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
JimboombaTBADepot - Return-It
Jindalee24 Goggs RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Kallangur1473 Anzac Avenue - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Karalee259-277 Mt Crosby RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Kedron46 Millway StreetDepot - Return-It
KenmoreTBADrop off - Return-It
KensingtonTBADrop off - Return-It
KeperraTBADrop off - Return-It
Kilcoy32-40 D'Aguilar HighwayMobile - Yowie Park
Kilkivan27 Bligh StreetDepot - Post Office
Kingaroy189 Kingaroy Street - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
Kunda Park5 Pike StreetDepot - TOMRA
Laidley63 Burgess RoadDrop off - Laidley Transfer Station
Lawnton690 Gympie Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Logan Central114 Wembley Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Logan CentralWoodridge PlazaDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Loganholme61-65 Bryants RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Lutwyche554 Lutwyche RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
MacGregor555 Kessels RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
MackayTBADrop off - Anything Environmental
Mackay287 Shakespeare Street - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
Main BeachSouthport Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Manunda16 Adelaide StreetDrop off - Return-It
Marcoola64-76 Marcoola EsplanadaDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Mareeba138 Walsh Street - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Mareeba11 Bowers StreetDepot - Cash 4 Containers
Margate25 Beaconsfield Street - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
MarianTBADrop off - Anything Environmental
Maroochydore25 First AvenueDrop off - Return-It
Maryborough3 Kingston DriveDepot - U Can Recycle
Maryborough300 Kent StreetDrop off - U Can Recycle
Maryborough20 Gympie Road - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
MeadowbrookL13 Facilities Lane - AEIOUDrop off - Return-It
Mermaid BeachTBADrop off - Return-It
Mermaid Beach172 Hedges AvenueDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Mermaid BeachNobby's Beach Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
MiddlemountMiddlemount HotelDrop off - Anything Environmental
Molendinar3-9 Precision Drive - SalvosDepot - Return-It
MontoGrand HotelMobile - U Can Recycle
MooloolabaMooloolaba Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
MoranbahBlack Nugget HotelDrop off - Anything Environmental
Morayfield158-166 Morayfield Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Mossman13/5 Pioneer CloseDepot - Port Douglas Recycling
Mount IsaJessop DriveMount Isa City Council
Mount Morgan78 James StreetDepot - K.L Webster
Mount PleasantGrand View DriveDrop off - Anything Environmental
Moura44-46 Dawson HighwayDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Mudgeeraba196-206 Highfield DriveDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Murarrie913 Lytton RoadDepot - United Scrap Metal
Nambour9-13 Mill StreetDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
NeboTBADrop off - Anything Environmental
Nerang23-25 Station Street - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Newstead52 Doggett Street -SalvosDrop off - Return-It
NewtownTBADrop off- Return-It
Noosa HeadsNoosa Fair Shopping Centre, 10 Lanyana WayDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
NoosavilleTBADrop off- Return-It
North MackayJohn Breen Park, Malcolmson Street, Malcolmson StDrop off- Return-It
North MackayBassett St, Cnr Brewers Rd & Broad StDrop off- Return-It
Oakey77 Campbell StreetDepot - Post Office
OoraleaTBADrop off- Return-It
OrmistonTBADrop off- Return-It
OxenfordTBADrop off- Return-It
Oxley63 Factory Road - VinniesDrop off- Return-It
Paget19 Interlink CourtDepot - Return-It
Paget42 Crichtons Road - Incredables DepotDepot - Return-It
Palm Beach2 Eighth Avenue - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Palm BeachTBADrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Palm Island48 The EsplanadeDepot- Return-It
Parkhurst334 Leichhardt StreetDepot- Return-It
Peregian SpringsPeregian Springs Shopping Centre, 1 Ridgeview DriveDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
PialbaTBADrop off- Return-It
Pittsworth37 Grevillea Street, PO Box 432Depot- Pittsworth Metals
ProserpineProserpine Metropole Hotel, 80 Main StDrop off- Return-It
Raceview30 East Owen streetDrop off- Return-It
Red Hill80 Gelnrosa Road - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Redbank PlainsRedbank Plains Rd & Argyle StDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
RedcliffePeninsula Surf Life Saving Club, Lot 1 Marine ParadeDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
RedcliffeAshmole Road & Klingner RoadDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Rosewood25 John Street - VinniesDepot - Return-It
Rothwell739 Deception Bay Road - SalvosDrop Off - Return-It
Runaway BayRunaway Bay Shopping Village, Cnr Bayview St & Lae DrvDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Rural ViewNorthern Beaches, Carl Court, 2 Rosewood DriveDrop Off - Return-It
Salisbury655 Toohey RoadDepot - TOMRA Collection
Samford ValleySamford Vally Commons, Mt Samson RoadDepot - Carticus Projects Pty Ltd
Sandgate77 Rainbow Street - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
SarinaSarina Leagues Club, Broad StDrop off- Return-It
SarinaTBADrop off- Return-It
SeaforthSeaforth Reserve RoadDrop off- Return-It
Seventeen Mile Rocks9 Counihan RoadDepot - TOMRA Collection
Sherwood450 Sherwood Road - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Sinnamon Park532 Seventeen Mile Rocks Road - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Slacks CreekTBADrop off- Return-It
South MackayMilton Street South MackayDrop off- Return-It
South Toowoomba689-691 Ruthven StreetDrop off- Return-It
Southport15 Nind Street - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
SpringfieldTBADrop off- Return-It
Springsure53 Gap StreetDepot- Kanga Bins
St Lucia342 Carmody RoadDepot - Post Office
Stanthorpe14 Maryland StDepot - Post Office
StratfordTBADrop off- Return-It
Sumner ParkTBADrop off- Return-It
SunnybankSunnybank Plaza Shopping Centre, 358 Mains RdDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Surfers Paradise51 Garfield TerraceDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Tamborine Mountain137 Knoll RdDrop off- Return-It
Taroom14 Yaldwyn StreetDepot - Kanga Bins
TexasTexas-Inglewood RoadDrop off- Return-It
Thuringowa CentralTBADrop off- Return-It
Tingalpa302-308 New Cleveland RoadDepot - TOMRA Collection
Tingalpa1469 Wynnum RoadDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Toowoomba3/19 Carrington RoadDepot - E & E Waste
Toowoomba169 James StreetDepot - TOMRA Collection
Townsville275 Flinders Street - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
TownsvilleUnit 2/14 Keane StreetDepot - Reef Townsville Site
TugunTBADrop off- Return-It
TullyTully Showground - Butler StreetMobile - Tully Mobile
Tully26/58 Butler Street - VinniesDrop off- Return-It
Underwood3255 Logan Road - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Varsity Lakes2 Flint CourtDepot - TOMRA Collection
Victoria PointTBADrop off- Return-It
WalkerstonTBADrop off- Return-It
Warwick30 King Street - lifelineDrop off- Return-It
West End281 Montague RoadDepot - TOMRA Collection
West EndTBADrop off- Return-It
West Ipswich355 Brisbane StreetDepot - TOMRA Collection
West IpswichTBADepot - Return-It
Woorabinda116 Munns StreetDepot - Kanga Bins
WoorimTBADrop off- Return-It
Woree14 Spoto Street - VinniesDepot - Return-It
Wynnum119 Bay Terrace - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Wynnum WestWynnum Plaza Shopping Centre, 2021 Wynnum RdDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
YandinaTBADepot - Return-It
YarrabahThe EsplanadeDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Cash 4 Containers

Queensland’s container refund scheme commenced on 1 November 2018, with more than 230 container refund points in operation across the state. The number of these sites will continue to grow as the scheme rolls out.

[source]

There are currently 33 locations in the Brisbane area, however if you remove the small drop off locations that are an add-on to an existing retail location such as Salvos, Vinnies and Post Offices the number drops to 17 and if we only look at locations that have Reverse Vending Machines this drops to 9.

Nine locations with Reverse Vending Machines to service a population of 2.177 million people (as at 2014). Looking at all 33 locations this is 65,969 people per location, taking out the smaller add-on locations this is 17 locations each servicing 128,058 people and the Reverse Vending Machine locations have to service 241,888 people.

Looking at two of the larger facilities with Reverse Vending Machines in Brisbane the TOMRA site at West End will have parking for 35 vehicles and Geebung with parking for 13 vehicles.

SuburbAddressType
Acacia Ridge28 Elizabeth Street – VinniesDrop off – Return-It
Albany CreekAlbany Creek Road and Wruck CrescentDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine – Envirobank Recycling
Arana Hills5/131 Bunya RoadDepot – U Can Recycle
Archerfield17 Boniface Street – SalvosDrop off – Return-It
AspleyAspley HypermarketDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine – Envirobank Recycling
Brendale256 Leitchs Road – SalvosDrop off – Return-It
Capalaba16/82 Redland Bay RoadDepot – Advanced Metal Recyclers
Capalaba6 Merrit Street (Lifeline)Drop off – Return-It
Capalaba7/71 Redland Bay Road – SalvosDrop off – Return-It
Cleveland 25-32 Shore Street – SalvosDrop off – Return-It
Darra18 Sumners RoadDepot – The Big Red Shed
Geebung428 Bilsen RoadDepot – TOMRA
Geebung8 Railway Parade – SalvosDrop off – Return-It
Jindalee24 Goggs RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine – Envirobank Recycling
Lutwyche554 Lutwyche RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine – Envirobank Recycling
MacGregor555 Kessels RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine – Envirobank Recycling
Murarrie913 Lytton RoadDepot – United Scrap Metal
Newstead52 Doggett Street -SalvosDrop off – Return-It
Oxley63 Factory Road – VinniesDrop off- Return-It
Red Hill80 Gelnrosa Road – SalvosDrop off- Return-It
RedcliffePeninsula Surf Life Saving Club Lot 1 Marine ParadeDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
RedcliffeAshmole Road & Klingner RoadDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Salisbury655 Toohey RoadDepot – TOMRA Collection
Sandgate77 Rainbow Street – SalvosDrop off- Return-It
SeventeenMile Rocks 9 Counihan RoadDepot – TOMRA Collection
Sherwood450 Sherwood Road – SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Sinnamon Park532 Seventeen Mile RocksRoad – Salvos Drop off- Return-It
St Lucia342 Carmody RoadDepot – Post Office
Tingalpa302-308 New Cleveland RoadDepot – TOMRA Collection
Tingalpa1469 Wynnum RoadDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
West End281 Montague RoadDepot – TOMRA Collection
Wynnum119 Bay Terrace – SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Wynnum WestWynnum Plaza Shopping Centre 2021 Wynnum RdDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling

108 of the locations are operated by Return-It who perform manual sorting and counting when you drop in your containers. Their locations include depots and drops-off points in charity stores, most of which are open limited hours on weekends. To use the drop-off points you have to place your containers inside a bag and place a label on the bag with your Scheme Account ID or Donation Point ID and the refund will be transferred to your bank account in two to three weeks after they are counted manually.

The bag must not be a single use plastic bag but the requirement varies depending on who runs the location. Some say they must be a re-usable clear bag like a rubbish bag, others require you to use their bags with a drawstring but they ask you to use a ringpull from a can to close the drawstring and others ask you to use the re-usable bags from the supermarkets. The sites that require a specific bag to be used will often require you to transfer them into the bag on-site from whatever you used to carry them there. The bags are not returned to you.

Your average reusable supermarket bag is $1 and can hold around 15 bottles which you will receive back $1.50 for. After the cost of the bag this is 50c returned and doesn’t include the costs of the next issue.

There are additional requirements at Container Refund Points.

Envirobank required you to put in exactly 50 containers into their bags or they would invalidate your refund. If you returned 501 containers to Envirobank they required you to make and supply a Statutory Declaration for $50.10 worth of containers.

Lids have to be removed because of the risk to the staff at the Container Refund Points of them flying off and they can’t or won’t recycle the lids.

Special Bags are required by Envirobank but they have run out of them and only allow you to have three bags at a time so the most you can return is 150 containers for a refund of $15. If you don’t use their bags you don’t get a refund.

Another issue is making special trips to return containers. Most Queensland households currently have a recycle bin that is collected every fortnight but are now expected to put the suitable containers aside until they have enough to justify driving to a  Container Refund Point.  Assuming an average round trip of 10km this is a cost of $6.60 using the ATO per kilometer rate of 66c and doesn’t include the time lost on something that is pointless. The average CO2 emissions for a light vehicle in Australia is 188 grams per kilometre so that is 1.88kg of emissions per trip.

The average aluminium 375ml can weighs 14.9 grams (Australian Aluminium Council) and the amount of CO2 released from creating 1 tonne of aluminium is 1.5 tonnes (Greener Industry). Each can has released 22.35 grams of CO2. If you return less than 84 cans on an average 10km trip you have released more CO2 than the creation of those cans.

To break even from a cost perspective you need to return an average of 66 containers.

Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme Environmental Cost goes into more detail on this.

Container Types

Most aluminium, steel, glass, plastic and some cardboard containers that range in size up to 3 litres can be returned for a refund.

However the following are not

  • plain milk containers
  • glass containers which have contained wine or pure spirits
  • large containers (1L or more) which have contained flavoured milk, pure juice, cask wine or cask water
  • cordial or vegetable juice containers
  • sachets above 250ml which have contained wine
  • registered health tonics.

Reverse Vending Machines

The Queensland Government has decided to give the Reverse Vending Machines a new name “Smart Pods”. This should be retired like our “Smart State” label and we should use the name that the rest of the world uses.

These machines must be expensive or the government would surely have rolled them out like in Germany? You would think that these machines are made of Gold the way in which they are so sparingly dispersed around the state. A standalone non compacting Reverse Vending Machine that takes up the space of an ATM costs around AUD $12,000. Compacting models that crush the cans and plastics enabling them to hold a lot more are also available.

The cost of these machines would likely be cost neutral even in large quantities as the new Container Recycling Scheme is incredibly inefficient.

Statistics

More detail on false claims and statistics can be found in this document.

In the first 8 months of operation the recycling rate was around 28% and this currently sits in the low to mid 30’s which is diferent to the figures from the Government and Container Exchange who run Containers for Change.

The number of customers registered was 188,966 at the end of June 2019.

On the 1st of November 2019 more than a billion containers had been collected after 12 months.

At the start of April 2020 the figure was 1.6 billion containers after 18 months of operation.

Steven Miles the Minister responsible at the time included a claim in a media statement on the 22nd of July 2016 that $25 million could be made by community organisations each year. In the 8 months from November 2018 to June 2019 a total of $863,897 was paid to Charities and Community Groups [page 8 – Financial Report].

Ten cents per container adds up; and in the last 12 months more than $100 million has gone back to individuals, families, community groups and charities, including RSPCA Queensland who have raised about $3500 in donated refunds.

Minister Leeanne Enoch | 1st of November 2019 | One billion containers returned in first year of scheme

The Minister fails to mention that Councils also get some of that $100 million from any containers placed in recycling bins, why is this? To make the scheme look like it only benefits certains groups whilst omitting the ones that receive large amounts?

Other States

NSW

The NSW government’s scheme, launched on December 1, 2017, has been heavily criticised for pushing up the price of drinks without any environmental benefit, given 80 per cent of bottles and cans were already being recycled via yellow bins.

[source]

In April, The Australian reported the five biggest drinks manufacturers — Coca-Cola Amatil, Carlton United Brewers, Lion, Coopers and Asahi — were pocketing $34 million a month in unclaimed “deposits”.

The paper reported that just 13 per cent of eligible bottles and cans were being returned and Exchange for Change, the company formed by the five drinks makers to manage the scheme, simply hands the unclaimed money back to them.

[source]

There has been ongoing criticism of delays ahead of the rollout with some residents having to travel up to three hours to collect their 10 cents and others travelling across the border to save money.

[source]

Western Australia

WOOLWORTHS has warned it could be forced to increase some drink prices by 60 per cent in Western Australia if the State Government pushes ahead with a container deposit scheme similar to the NSW government’s disastrous “Return and Earn” program.

“The CDS will have a significant cost-of-living impact on our customers,” Woolworths government relations manager Richard Fifer wrote. “Based on an increase of 15 cents per item, a 24x600ml pack of Woolworths still water will rise from $6 to $9.60, which is an increase of 60 per cent.”

[source]

Other Countries

Ideally you would look to see how other countries have approached recycling and learn from their experience.

In the Implementing Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme – Discussion Paper there are three countries used as Case Studies; Canada, Norway and California. For some reason they choose not to look at Germany who has probably the simplest system from a consumers perspective.

Germany – Pfandsystem

The Pfandsystem in Germany is not perfect but it’s many many times better then the dogs breakfast that we have implemented in Queensland. The current system was implemented in 2003 and expanded in 2006 however Germany has for a long history of deposits on bottles.

The intention of the Pfand system was to encourage the uptake of Mehrwegflaschen (multi-use refillable plastic and glass bottles) however this has not eventuated with some of the major companies like Coca-Cola switching to Einwegflaschen (single use bottles and cans) due to the logistics of reusing bottles. Multi-use plastic bottles can be reused around 25 times and glass bottles around 50 times.

All stores and supermarkets above a certain size that sell bottled products must have a Pfandrückgabestelle (area to return bottles) generally in the form of a Pfandautomat (Deposit Machine or more commonly known as Reverse Vending Machine). The system is straight forward if you are using single use plastic bottles or cans as generally all machines will accept these bottles or cans with the exception of ones purchased outside Germany or imported products like Fanta Pineapple which is direct imported from the USA.

Where it gets complicated is returning multi-use refillable bottles to different stores or in different regions as some stores may not accept bottles that are irregular shaped or foreign (not sold at that location). Some locations (generally discount stores) will only accept single use bottles and cans as this is all they sell and they have a Reverse Vending Machine that crushes to save space. Stores of under 200m² can restrict the returns to products that they sell.

The Getränkemarkt (equivalent to a bottle shop in Australia) will generally take a much wider range of bottles back and they often have an additional tray in the Reverse Vending Machine for you to put the Crate with empty bottles in so they can be all processed at once.

Generally juice, milk, wine and spirits are not covered by the Pfandsystem as well as the packaging of food products.

The Deutsche Pfandgesellschaft (deposit clearing house) co-ordinates the distribution of the Pfand (deposit).

Pfand rates

(all in Euro)

Multi-use

  • Glass bottles 330 and 500ml – 8c
  • Glass bottles 750 and 1000ml – 15c
  • Plastic 15c
  • Crates (returned full of empty bottles) – €3.10 + the deposit paid on the bottles

Single-use

  • Plastic bottles – 25c
  • Aluminium cans – 25c

Some further reading on the Pfand system in Germany.

How Does The German Pfand System Work, And Is It Effective?

How the system could have worked

The current Container Recycling Scheme is a total shambles, it’s expensive to operate, it requires consumers to make special trips to return containers, it employs thousands of people to manually sort containers and it just makes NO SENSE. Why not allow customers to return their bottles and cans at the point of sale so they don’t need to make a special trip to a recycling centre and all the complexity that is involved in getting a refund.

For the initial roll-out the government should have mandated supermarkets deploy one of these machines per suburb per chain with a long term goal to have these in all supermarkets over a certain size, the costs for deployment are minimal and could be shared by the supermarkets and the producers as they both should take responsibility. The refund can be made via a paper voucher that you present at the checkout, no need to have dozens of complex payment variations that vary from suburb to suburb.

Unfortunately once again the governments in Australia at all levels have totally and utterly failed what could have been a simple roll-out and have placed the burden on taxpayers along with the increased costs and complexity of running the Container Recycling Scheme.

The Queensland Government loaned the Container Recycling Scheme $35 million dollars to start up, if this was spent instead on Reverse Vending Machines it could have purchased over 2900 @ $12,000 each which is three times the number of machines required! In Queensland there are around 600-1000* larger supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths, ALDI, IGA and other independents) so the costs of deploying and all the infrastructure required could have been covered by the cost of starting up the sham system we have now or we could have spent no money and left this to the supermarkets and the producers to fund.

Does it make financial or environmental sense to return bottles and cans via a special trip especially when it would be cheaper to have Reverse Vending Machines at the point of sale?

Thousands of people are employed to sort out bottles and cans mostly manually and process refunds, is this gainful employment or just the creation of jobs to support a poorly thought out and inefficient scheme.

This is a backwards step, most Queensland households have recycling bins that are collected every fortnight but are now forced to make a special trip to perform the exact same task. Someone who always recycles and consumes a small number of products that are covered by the Container Recycling Scheme would find it very hard to justify a journey given the number of containers needed to be collected to offset the running costs and the CO2 emissions. Their options are to collect a large number of containers over a long period and be faced with having to rinse these to stop ants etc from being attracted to them or to effectively throw them away and let someone else take the deposit.

The most effective method for the environment is to place the containers in your recycling bin but this way the council contractors receive the deposit and you lose out as you’re paying for the deposit and the running costs of an incredibly inefficient scheme.

In most circumstances I suspect this will be nothing but a NEW TAX on the people that do the right thing by recycling and never littering.

*Based on a rough estimate based on Coles having 807 in Australia, Woolworths having 995 and ALDI over 500

Recycling in Australia

Australia has an already low rate of recycling which has been impacted by the Chinese decision to stop accepting our recycling as there are limited facilities in Australia to process the recycling so it’s being sent to landfill instead. Large councils like the Ipswich City Council are sending all recycling to landfill as they claim it’s too expensive to recycle. This is further compounded with Australia having some of the highest power prices in the world and a total lack of investment in recycling facilities.

[source]