Container Deposit Scheme now underway

Keen: SES Moe volunteers (right to left) Angie Robertson, Sarah Collins, Mitre Adebahr, Paul Russell and Sam Nott are excited for the CDS launch. Photograph: Tom Hayes



ONE man’s trash could now be his treasure.

Earlier this month on Wednesday, November 1 the state government launched the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS).

Coordinated by VicReturn, a non-profit entity formed by Lion, Coca-Cola and Asahi Beverages, the scheme aims to make Victoria a leader in beverage container recycling.

CDS Vic is part of the Labor Government’s $515 million investment to transform the state’s waste and recycling system, including the new standardised four-stream waste and recycling system, in hopes of diverting 80 per cent of all materials away from landfill by 2030.

Containers that can be deposited for a 10-cent refund include soft drink cans and bottles, plastic and glass water bottles, small milk cartons, beer and cider cans and bottles, sports drink bottles and spirit-based mixed drink bottles.

Zone Operators are responsible for establishing and maintaining a network of refund collection points across the state.

Visy is the Zone Operator for the North Zone, Return-It for the East Zone and TOMRA Cleanaway for the West Zone.

“This is a fantastic initiative! The Container Deposit Scheme not only promotes environmental sustainability, but also supports local community and charity groups in raising vital funds for their organisations,” Return-It General Manager, Daniel Paone said.

“Collaborations with partners like SES Moe are commendable, as they showcase the power of community engagement.

“Encouraging the community to support these partners is a great way to foster solidarity and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future.”

Each Zone Operator will have information for consumers on how they can donate to their desired partner.

“Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme will be the most accessible and convenient in the country. There will be a mix of refund points that will make it easier than ever for Victorians to recycle containers, to keep them from ending up in our streets, parks and waterways,” VicReturn CEO Jim Round said.

“Container refunds can be kept by individuals or donated to Victorian charities, schools and community groups that have registered with the scheme, so I would like to encourage all community groups to register, as this is a great new way to raise funds.”

Minister for Environment, Steve Dimopoulos said, “Our new Container Deposit Scheme is now open, which will reduce the amount of litter in Victoria by up to half – contributing to a more sustainable future, while putting money back in the pockets of hardworking Victorians.”

“CDS Vic will maximise the number of cans, bottles and cartons being recycled into new products and keep them out of landfill.”

More than 600 jobs will be rolled out around the state, with over 600 refund points to become available within the coming months. Nearly 400 refund points are currently in operation.

Within our region, there are four refund points in the Moe/Newborough region, three in Traralgon, two each in Morwell, Mirboo North, and others in Churchill, Trafalgar and Rosedale.

Victoria became the seventh Australian state or territory to introduce the CDS, with other states having implemented it as far back at the 1970s.

South Australia rolled out the scheme in 1977, then next was Northern Territory in 2012, and in the last six years every state and territory except Tasmania have introduced the scheme so far.

Schemes overseas have proven to be very successful, like Lithuania for example, which is one of the world’s best, recovering 70 per cent of containers in the first year, increasing to 90 per cent the following year.

Customers can either receive cash for their deposits or choose to donate them to charity groups who register as ‘Donation Partners’.

CDS will give not-for-profit organisations such as charities, schools, sports clubs or community organisations new ways to raise funds.

One of the local volunteer-led organisations that has opted to join the CDS is SES in Moe.

“Vic SES is funded by the state government which covers some of the core needs, but all of the volunteer units also rely heavily on … grants, donations or fundraisers and that ensures that we can get assistance with the purchasing of critical equipment,” an SES spokesperson said.

The Moe SES unit is currently raising funds to go towards a new vehicle and other essential equipment, which will now be made easier due to the CDS.

“It’s an opportunity, not just to raise funds for the unit, but also a chance to connect with the community,” the spokesperson said.

“We do rely on the community a lot more to raise funds.”

There will be a refund point at Moe’s SES unit at 265 Monash Road, Newborough.

Latrobe Valley Enterprises in Morwell have opened their fully-operational refund point, but it operates differently to regular regular refund points.

What makes LVE’s refund point more attractive is the fact that they accept crushed cans and bottles that the machines won’t usually take.

They have processed over 115,000 containers in the first five days, equivalent to over $11,500 worth of refunds.

Latrobe Valley Enterprises’ refund point is located at 547 Princes Drive, Morwell.

The attraction to the refund points have been massive in the opening days of the scheme, as people seemingly saved mass amounts of bottles and cans for the opening day of the scheme.

Seven News reported that the CDS was off to a “shaky start” with the hasty filling of recycling sites.

“As a result of this recycling initiative customers may see a slight increase on beverages,” a Coles statement read.

Find your nearest refund point at

Organisations can register to become a ‘Donation Partner’ at

In action: Campbell Sutton and David Rea work on one of the new refund points at Latrobe Valley Enterprises.