Get your school involved

The ACT CDS is a great way to teach students about recycling while raising funds for school and community projects.

Under the ACT CDS, your school is able to recycle eligible drink containers and receive a 10 cent refund for each container deposited at one of our return points.

Every container returned is diverted from ever becoming litter or landfill to become a valuable resource.

Free preschool and primary school resources now available

The ACT Container Deposit Scheme is proud to partner with Cool Australia to deliver free teaching resources on sustainability and recycling for Early Learning through to Year 6. These curriculum-linked resources for ACT teachers provide practical ways to engage students on sustainability and recycling and support schools’ participation in the scheme. Find out more and download our free resources at ACT Container Deposit Scheme Education Resources – Cool Australia.

How to recycle with the ACT CDS

  1. Collect eligible drink containers

    Your eligible containers need to be empty and the ‘10c’ symbol needs to be visible so we can determine the container is eligible for a refund.

    Remove and dispose of the lids before returning and uncrushed cans are preferred. Learn more about eligible containers.

  2. Drop off your containers

    There are many return points located across the ACT. Each type of return point offers different refunds options. Find out where your nearest return point is.

  3. Pick up 10 cents for each container you return or donate to your school

    Download the ACT CDS Fundraising Toolkit to help promote your school’s recycling and fundraising initiatives.

What are the benefits for your school?

  • Empower students to take actions and encourage positive recycling behaviours to improve awareness about recycling and litter reduction within your school community.

  • Bring learnings to life by linking the ACT CDS scheme to classroom learning on environmental issues, recycling and maths.

  • Create a more sustainable school community, reduce school waste collection fees and increase funds for your school initiatives or other causes.

When your school deposits eligible bottles and cans through the ACT CDS, you are sending them to be recycled, turning waste into a clean and valuable resource. Plus, your school earns 10 cents for each container returned.

Your school community, families and supporters can also choose to donate their refund to your school or Parents and Citizens Association and support your fundraising initiatives.

Tips to get your school involved


Set up collection stations

at the school for students to place their empty drink containers. Identify suitable collection points within your school, such as near the canteen or recreational areas, or in each classroom, and place clean labelled bins with signs showing pictures of eligible cans and bottles. You might like to use one of the posters included in the ACT CDS Fundraising Toolkit. When the bins are full, take them to one of our return points to collect your refund.

Organise regular drop-offs

by your community and encourage families to bring in eligible cans and bottles collected at home.

Create an online account

with our network operator Return-It and encourage the wider school community to donate to your school, that way anyone with your school phone number linked to the account can direct their container refunds to your school, from any ACT CDS return points.

Organise a school excursion

to one of the ACT CDS Cash-back Depots or the Recycling Discovery Hub. Experience the front of house container sort and take a behind the scenes tour to learn more about how the containers are separated and recycled. Don’t forget to bring your containers to enjoy the whole experience.

Hire a trailer for free with Return-It

Is your school organising a big event, but you don’t know where you’ll store and transport the containers? The ACT CDS network operator, Return-It, has introduced a free trailer hire program for schools, community groups and businesses. To find out more and make a booking, visit

Don’t forget to also download our Fundraising Toolkit to access some helpful tips and resources to promote your school’s container collection drive and litter reduction initiatives.

Stories from our schools

The ACT CDS is proud to showcase some outstanding recycling initiatives that teach students about sustainability while also fundraising for environmental projects and good causes.

For general enquiries call
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