To say thank you to the community for embracing the ACT Container Deposit Scheme, Canberrans can enjoy a free coffee and a biscuit when they return containers to any of the local cash-back depots on Saturday from 9am to 11am.
The four participating cash-back depots are in Belconnen (Oatley Court), Phillip (Dundas Court), Fyshwick (Barrier Street) and Mitchell (Grimwade Street).
The ACT scheme, which celebrated its third anniversary at the end of June, is proving increasingly popular, with 55 per cent of ACT adults having now participated in the scheme, according to the latest consumer research.
Launched as a litter reduction initiative in 2018, the scheme has seen more than 277.2 million containers returned since commencement to September 30 this year, resulting in more than $6.3 million in refunds back in the hands of the community.
Danielle Smalley, CEO of scheme coordinator Exchange for Change, said there were now 22 return points across the ACT.
"It's inspiring to see the local community make the ACT Container Deposit Scheme part of their everyday life. Nearly two-thirds of ACT residents have ensured their drink containers avoid ending up as litter and landfill, and instead turned into a valuable recycled commodity," she said.
"Alongside the environmental benefit of less litter and more recycling, the scheme is also delivering strong community benefits as it becomes an increasingly important fundraising channel for many community groups and local schools."
And the containers are being used for any and all causes.
Gold Creek tourist attraction Canberra Reptile Zoo is using container returns to fundraise for its star attraction - a rapidly growing saltwater crocodile called Charlie who will need a new enclosure before he reaches his full size.
Another much cuter Charlie, a local 10-year-old, collects bottles and cans from friends, family and neighbours, which he takes to his local Return-It return point in Phillip.
With the 10 cent refunds he buys toys for the children at Canberra Hospital's Ronald McDonald House. His mum volunteers at RMH, and Charlie wanted to help, too.
He says that when he realised that he could recycle to help the planet and fundraise at the same time "it was a lightbulb moment".
Meanwhile, retired couple Margaret and Paul McGrath use the ACT CDS to fundraise for Ngunnawal Street Pantries.
They established the street pantries in 2019 to help locals who were struggling.
While the pantries are mostly stocked through donations of non-perishable food and clothes, the container refunds create an income stream for additional items such as fresh food and toiletries.
David Singh is managing director of ReGroup, which operates Return-It, network operator of the scheme.
"It's great to see the scheme having a positive impact on the ACT community. We all look forward to more Canberrans participating and seeing the difference it continues to make to the ACT community and environment," Mr Singh said.
There are 22 return points across the ACT including cash-back depots in Fyshwick, Mitchell, Phillip and Belconnen.
For more information about the ACT CDS, including your nearest return point, visit www.actcds.com.au
The coffee carts for the free coffee and cookie will operate at the four cash-back depots on Saturday from 9am-11am. Individually wrapped cookies will be available while supplies last.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.