Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme, Containers for Change, continues to exceed all expectations and is celebrating another major milestone this week, with 800 million containers returned in just 10 months.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said this milestone was reached while Parliament was sitting in Townsville this week.
“We know Townsville residents care about recycling because of the amazing results we’ve seen through the scheme, with more than 59 million containers in this region alone, including more than 6.4 million in just the month of August,” she said.
Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the scheme had also created jobs in the Townsville region.
“Containers for Change has created 44 full-time equivalent jobs in Townsville – jobs which did not exist before our scheme commenced,” she said.
“It’s also fantastic to see so many residents, schools and community groups getting on board with the scheme.
“And this number continues to grow, as we’re seeing here today at Aitkenvale State School, who have seen the incredible opportunity this scheme provides.
“Not only is this scheme providing refunds to individuals, it is also providing a vital revenue scheme for local charities and community groups.”
Aitkenvale State School are collecting containers to help fund school council initiatives, such as school camps and graduations.
Principal Keith Poulter said the scheme provided a good opportunity to encourage students to reduce littering.
“We have students who go around at lunch time collecting poppers and other eligible containers that would otherwise have ended up in landfill,” Mr Poulter said.
“The students themselves will decide how to spend the money they raise by recycling the containers, providing another learning opportunity.”
The school has its own collection bin, where the school community can deposit their containers, which are then taken to the Reef Recycling and Logistics depot. All proceeds go back to the school.
Reef Recycling & Logistics Operations Manager Heather Stratton said the response from the community has been overwhelming.
“The scheme is a great way for schools and community groups to raise money while reducing litter, and it is always nice to see students participating in the scheme,” Ms Stratton said.
Mrs O’Rourke said Reef Recycling & Logistics was a fantastic local business, that was providing job opportunities to people who were long-term unemployed, or those that have a disability.
“The work Reef Recycling & Logistics do as part of the Townsville community demonstrates the significant social benefits the scheme brings,” she said.
“They also sponsor local events such as the Castle Hill Fun Run, support several local charities and also collect bottle caps from their refund points to help not-for-profit organisation, Lids for Kids, who give the caps to charity partners to recycle into prosthetic limbs for children.”
Minister Enoch said across Queensland, the container refund scheme had helped reduce litter in the environment by about 35%.
“With more than 800 million containers now returned across the state, this means $80 million has been refunded to individuals and families, charities and community organisations,” she said.
For more information on the scheme, and to find your nearest refund point, visit: https://www.containersforchange.com.au/ (external site)