Australia: A Profitable Beverage Container Collection Model

Australia has successfully implemented a container deposit scheme (CDS) in some states, that refunds 10 cents for every eligible container recycled. It has proven that such a scheme reduces litter, increases recycling rates to 80–95% and has the added benefit of drastically reducing the number of containers that would otherwise end up in landfill. It also provides a tangible financial benefit to both recyclers and to businesses who act as a collection point.

With in-depth experience in the waste management industry and a proven track record operating Australia’s largest fully automated recycling depot, our partners in Australia, Envirobank Recycling Envirobank, wanted to expand their business opportunity and take advantage of both the financial and environmental benefits the CDS offers.

Together, Envipco and Envirobank has developed a viable solution to deliver a convenient, innovative and state-of-the-art beverage container recycling solution that covers the regional spread for the various schemes. Envipco’s full range of reverse vending machines (RVM’s) can offer high-capacity recovery for large-scale collection as well as the added convenience of flexibility and a footprint perfect for public place recycling. This has enabled Envirobank to engage retailers, businesses, community groups, local councils and government, to successfully place RVMs in high-traffic areas where out-of-home recycling solutions are needed.

Several of these machines have been customised to include interactive features that display promotional offers and or discounts and electronically dispense either cash or rewards as a means to incentivise recycling efforts. These features are further revenue generators in addition to the scrap values of the raw materials themselves.

The data generated by Envipco’s reverse vending machines has also made it possible for Envirobank to produce auditable sustainability reports for clients to demonstrate resource recovery outcomes as well as any uptake on promotional offers.

Over 100 units were operating between 2011 to early 2017, with several hundred more scheduled for installation in new sites late 2017, with the launch of upcoming schemes.