Containers for change is a step in the right direction for recycling

Containers for Change promises to improve recycling, reduce pollution and raise funds for local community groups, and it’s coming to the Bridgetown tip on the 1st of October.

The scheme is based on South Australia’s container deposit scheme, which was introduced back in 1977.

It will pay a 10c refund for every eligible container that’s collected at refund points. The money can be either kept by the person bringing it in or donated to a community group who have signed onto the scheme.

It’s aimed at beverage containers made of aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard, such as drink cartons, but doesn’t include milk cartons and bottles or wine bottles. It’s vital that all recyclables are clean and washed to avoid contamination.

The scheme can be used as a fundraiser by community groups who can register and either collect recyclables themselves at donation points, or receive the money from recyclables that are deposited in their name.

Each year West Australians consume around 1.3 billion beverages, with many of the containers filling up landfill sites or becoming litter.

Plastic waste has a devastating impact on wildlife and the environment, and the problem is rapidly getting worse. The world produced more plastic in the first 10 years of this century than the whole of the last one.

Animals can be choked or injured on plastic waste, while toxic chemicals can leach into soils and spread into groundwater. We’re exposed to it through our water and food, and even in the air we breathe.

Containers for Change aims to reduce that environmental impact. The government’s Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act mandates that all containers received through the scheme will be recycled, not dumped.

The scheme will reduce the problem of contamination, which frequently happens when non-recyclable items are thrown into domestic recycling bins. When that happens the entire bin load is usually dumped instead of recycled.

But it also promises to employ people with disabilities to help run the scheme by sorting the recyclables.

The Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes is housing the project locally at the tip.

Shire President, John Nicholas is enthusiastic about the scheme.

He said it’s important that people know what can and can’t be recycled.

“We think it’s great for two reasons. You would hope that people won’t just throw them out the window of their car onto the side of the road anymore, that they’ll take them to a drop-off point or give them to someone,” Mr Nicholas said

“And secondly they’ll get back into the recycling system, which is really good.”

You can find out more about the scheme below: