Frequently asked questions for the ACT CDS.

  • How to participate - locations and opening hours

    Fourteen return points are currently operating, with 18 points in place by July 2019.  Full details on all currently operating return points can be found on the return points page.

  • How to participate: Container eligibility

    What’s eligible?

    Most glass, plastic, aluminium, steel and paper-based cartons between 150mL and 3L which are commonly found in the litter stream.

    Containers must be between 150mL and 3L in size; and Glass, PET, HDPE, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard (cartons). Uncrushed containers are preferred, although crushed containers will be accepted.

    At the commencement of the Scheme, the ACT CDS collection points will accept crushed containers and any container (between 150mL and 3L) which carries the refund marking of SA and NT schemes.

    What’s not eligible?

    Containers not commonly found in litter, including all plain milk, flavoured milk 1L and above, pure juice drinks, health tonics, wine and spirit bottles, cordials.

  • How to participate: Getting a refund

    The best way to manage your refund is through a Return-It account. It is also the only way you can receive an electronic refund.

    Most return points provide refunds electronically. If you choose to donate to charity the Return-it account can also be used to receive a receipt for tax purposes.

    You do not need to create an account if you prefer a cash refund.

    To get an electronic refund

    • Take your pre-bagged containers to a return point.
    • Enter your profile details into the touchscreen console. Print out the label, put it on the bag and place it in the designated area.
    • The funds will be directly deposited into your express account within a few days.

    To get a cash refund

    • Cash refunds are available at depot sites.
    • At the depot, facilities are available to sort your containers into material types – ie glass, plastics, cans. Hand the sorted material to the staff member, who will process them and provide you with a cash refund.

    To donate the refund to charity

    • Take your containers to any return point. If the return point is a charity shopfront, then the charity will receive the donation. At a depot, there will be a number of charities you can choose to donate to.
  • Why do the containers have to be bagged at Express points?

    Right now containers need to be bagged so that they can be identified and the right person receives the refund.  Return-It will recycle all bags, and are currently examining more long-term sustainable options for container return. Bags are not needed at depot sites.

  • Can I still put containers in the yellow bin?

    Yes, containers can still be put in the yellow bin, however you will not be able to receive any refund for them.

  • Can I return my containers in a different State or Territory, if I purchased them in the ACT?

    Once the ACT CDS has commenced, eligible containers can be returned in any State or Territory in Australia where a Container Deposit Scheme is in place.

  • Are the NSW and ACT schemes the same?

    The two schemes are separate but are aligned very closely so the same containers are eligible in NSW and ACT.

    A key difference is that ACT is focusing on a face to face model using selected social enterprise shop fronts as return points, rather than the reverse vending machine model used in NSW.

  • Are return points accessible for those with disabilities?

    All return points in the ACT are being built in accordance with standard building accessibility codes and practice.

    The Scheme’s return points are predominantly manually operated meaning there will be someone at the return point to take containers from consumers and assist with container returns as required.

    The locations of collection points around the ACT have been selected to make it as easy as possible for everyone, including people with disabilities, to return containers.

  • I am a community group, how can I participate in the ACT CDS?

    Community groups can fundraise through the ACT CDS simply by collecting eligible containers and redeeming them at collection points for 10 cents each.

    Groups may wish to organise a drive to collect containers. Information about how to do this, as well as a toolkit of materials to support the collection drive is available on www.actcds.com.au.

  • How do suppliers and retailers participate in the ACT CDS?

    Beverage suppliers play an important role in the ACT CDS. Suppliers of eligible beverage containers into the ACT need to enter into a Supply Arrangement with the scheme coordinator, Exchange for Change ACT, and contribute towards the cost of the Scheme.

    The financial contribution each supplier will make is commensurate with their market share of the eligible containers sold within the ACT.

    Point of Sale support materials are available for retailers to explain the CDS to their customers. A retail toolkit is available on the website.

  • I am a business which generates waste, including eligible ACT CDS containers, how can I participate in the ACT CDS?

    Business are encouraged to participate in the ACT CDS and continue to implement smart recycling practices that focus on environmental responsibility and litter reduction.

    Businesses can create a new revenue stream and actively participate in the ACT CDS by source separating their CDS recyclable materials, and work with their existing waste transporter to ensure their eligible containers are included in the ACT CDS, and a refund awarded.

    Businesses can:

    • Establish their business as an official return point – an EOI from the Network Operator will be released shortly
    • Return the bottles to the bulk depot directly and receive the refund
    • Keep going with business as usual – continue with your current recycling practice.

    The network operator can be contacted at info@returnit.com.au for more information on how businesses can participate.

  • Are beverage prices going to increase as a result of the CDS?

    There may be a price increase on eligible containers in line with industry costs of administering the scheme.The ACT Government has engaged the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission to monitor the effect of the container deposit scheme on beverage prices in the ACT from 1 June 2018 to 30 June 2019.

    The Commission will look at beverage prices before and after the start of the scheme, whether and how beverage manufacturers are recovering the costs imposed on them by the scheme, and any market impacts on beverage consumers arising from the scheme.

    The Commission will be seeking feedback from the public to assist it in understanding the impacts of the scheme on prices and competition in the ACT beverage industry.

    The Commission will, if necessary, make recommendations to the Government to address any adverse impacts on consumers which arise from the scheme. An outline of the Commission’s planned inquiry process is on its website www.icrc.act.gov.au.