10c container refunds begin in the Douglas Shire


Karlie Brady


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Owner Stacy Wilkinson at the Craiglie Containers for Change collection point. IMAGE: Karlie Brady.

THE recently opened Douglas Shire’s Containers for Change refund point has had a very successful opening week as locals race in for their 10c refunds.

The Containers for Change scheme was rolled out state-wide on November 1 and now means Queenslanders can receive a 10c refund on every eligible can, glass or plastic bottle returned to a registered recycling depot.

The owner of Port Douglas Recycling, the Port Douglas registered refund point, Stacy Wilkinson, said the idea is to get people recycling their containers so they can be turned into renewable products and Douglas locals have been very quick to get on board.

“Essentially we are sorting recyclable bottles and cans, so commodities like beer bottles, aluminium soft drink, beer cans and plastic soft drink and water bottles, also little chocolate milk cardboard containers and some steal coconut water containers,” he said.

“Everything you see here is taken to Cairns by truck and the glass is turned into a sand type of a product, the plastic is shredded and the aluminium is squashed into aluminium bricks and sold off on the metal market as clean aluminium product.”

Wilkinson said all you have to do is bring your eligible containers to the depot on Pioneer Close in Craiglie where they will sort it accordingly and you will receive 10c for every item.

“A lot of people don't have the room to sort plastic, glass and aluminium and we're totally fine with that, that's what this whole concept is about, so if we get bags with mixed commodities that's what we're here to do is to sort it.

“But if it is sorted you'll be here and get much faster service, all we ask for is that the lids come off the plastic bottles,” said Wilkinson

Wilkinson also requested that cans are not crushed so that they can be identified as eligible, if they can’t identify them they can’t accept them.

“We need to identify the container itself so would prefer that they're not squashed or damaged but obviously we don't expect them to come in in pristine condition.”

After success in other states, the scheme was introduced here in Queensland due to our poor recycling habits. In fact, Queensland has one of the lowest recycling rates in Australia at only 44%.

Wilkinson said that the scheme has proven to be a huge success in South Australia for a number of decades.

“Everything you see between here and Cairns on the roadside doesn't exist in a country road strip in South Australia, so the scheme does work. It's proven since 1975 that this scheme does get this type of rubbish off the road side.”

Under the scheme every container that is eligible will eventually have a 10c refund label on it, however at this early stage, labels still specifically say only refundable in South Australia and the Northern Territory, but all containers will come into line by January next year.

“Because there are still old commodities out on the market, anything you see with 10c on the back of it, albeit SA or NT, is eligible for the 10 cent refund scheme.”

“Those that aren't eligible are your wine and spirit bottles, plain milk plastic containers and some juice containers.

“Anyone who shows up with wine bottles or ineligible containers will be encouraged to take them back with them and we will give them instructions as to how to recycle them accordingly using their council bin,” said Wilkinson.

Port Douglas Recycling also has charity bins set up at the depot where you can donate your containers to raise money for local community organisations.

Port Douglas Recycling is located at warehouse 13, 7-9 Pioneer Close Craiglie and is
open to the public from 10am to 4pm everyday, except Tuesdays.



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