Visy, TOMRA Cleanaway, Return-It to operate VIC CDS

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Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme, CDS Vic, will begin on 1 November 2023.

VicReturn will be the scheme co-ordinator and Visy, TOMRA Cleanaway and Return-It will be network operators.

Announcing the start date and organisations responsible for delivering the scheme, Ingrid Stitt, Minister for Environment, said the scheme would maximise the number of cans, bottles and cartons being recycled into new products, put extra cash in Victorian pockets and reduce the amount of litter in the environment by half.

“CDS Vic will be Australia’s most accessible and convenient container deposit scheme, with more than 600 refund collection points across the state,” she said.

CDS Vic will allow Victorians to return their used drink cans, bottles and cartons for a 10-cent refund. It will generate 645 jobs, turn drink containers into new recycled products and offers state charities, community groups, environmental groups, sporting clubs and educational organisations new ways to raise funds.

The network operators will establish and maintain a network of more than 600 refund collection points across the state. They will be required to have a minimum of one collection point per 14,500 people in metropolitan areas, at least one per town of 750 people in regional areas, and at least one per town of 350 people in remote areas, within 12 months of the scheme starting.

Visy will be supported by Envirobank, an Australian-owned and recognised indigenous business.  Together they will run the collection and refund points across the Loddon, Mallee and Hume regions, as well as the inner north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Visy’s network operating model for the scheme will create an estimated 215 jobs directly in the network, with up to 500 indirect jobs created across the Victorian economy.

Mark De Wit, Visy Chief Executive Officer, said Visy’s expertise as a processor of kerbside recycling ensures a container deposit scheme Victorians can be proud of.

“We will empower local schools, charities and sporting groups to reduce litter and fundraise for projects by establishing the most accessible scheme across Australia.”

Visy is currently taking enquires for local businesses and not for profits to act as collection point operators in the region.

TOMRA Cleanaway will be network operator across the majority of Western Victoria – representing a population of more than two million people and an estimated half a billion eligible drink containers each year.

James Dorney, TOMRA Cleanaway Chief Executive Officer, said with a refund of 10c for each container, the company looks set to return an estimated $50 million each year back into the Victorian community.

He said one of the features of TOMRA Cleanaway’s network will be provision of Reverse Vending Machine technology that will scan and verify each container as it enters the CDS and provide a range of deposit refund options for consumers including retail cash, digital transfers direct to bank account and donations to charities or community groups.

Dorney said every container returned through the network represents the Victorian community’s support in the domestic circular economy. Plastics will be taken to local recycling plants, glass delivered to beneficiation plants for reuse and aluminium sold into an open commodity market to be infinitely recycled.

He said partnership will also feature at the heart of TOMRA Cleanaway’s container deposit network operation. Partnerships with collection point operators, hosts, charities, and community groups will embed enduring recycling behaviour change in Victoria.

“We are keen to hear from community groups, commercial operators and not-for-profits that want to partner with us to deliver an important feature of activating Victoria’s circular economy,” Dorney said.

“TOMRA Cleanaway is excited to activate our network and forge a collaborative working relationship with the Victorian Government, scheme co-ordinator, VIC Return Ltd, other network operators and importantly, the Victorian community to deliver Recycling Victoria’s flagship program.”

CDS Vic is part of the State Government’s $515 million investment to transform the waste and recycling sector, including a new standardised four-stream waste and recycling system, that will help meet a target of diverting 80 per cent of all material away from landfill by 2030.

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