Tackling local litter, one bottle at a time

Kirsty Young and her husband Wayne Corbin have recycled a remarkable 7,589 bottles and cans with the ACT Container Deposit Scheme since it launched in June 2018. Kirsty spoke to us about her work for litter reduction, recycling and how the ACT CDS has changed local litter collections.

“I actually got involved even before the ACT CDS officially began, because I went to a community forum to see how the scheme would work,” Kirsty said. “I’m involved in a local litter pickup group – Lanyon Litter Control – and when you pick up litter regularly you see lots of cans and bottles. So I was interested in what was eligible and what it was all about.”

Lanyon litter control group recycling

I’ve been interested in recycling and the environment for a while and I saw this as a really good way for the recycling industry to get a good, clean stream of containers. I’ve been out to the Recycling Discovery Hub at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Hume a few times when they have held open days. It just blows your mind when you see how much recycling comes in each day.

The MRF also shows how container deposit schemes are an effective way to create a steady source of uncontaminated recyclable material. It makes it more attractive for industries to use recyclable plastic, glass and aluminium when they know there is a reliable stream of clean, separated materials available for purchase – which is what the ACT CDS provides.

For my husband and I personally, with 7,589 containers returned, we’ve made $758.90. I use some of the refunds for the litter pickup group to pay for pick-up sticks and gloves for our volunteers.

Kirsty told us: “With Lanyon Litter Control, I try to run monthly events to pick up litter with other members in the local community. Since the ACT CDS launched, we’ve really noticed a lot less cans and bottles in the litter stream. These days we pick up fewer and fewer containers.”

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