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HK1837 Offline
#1 Posted : Monday, 20 November 2017 7:32:14 AM(UTC)
HK1837

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"Return and Earn" starts December 1 in NSW. Just about every plastic, glass and aluminium drink container, even flavoured milk carton I believe, is worth 10c.

Forgetting the logistics and that this is a great thing for the environment, my bet is there are going to be some very angry people, who get woken up during the night with people out rummaging through recycle wiz bins for containers. I bet they also don't care what they drop on the ground rummaging either. If they can gather 1000 containers over a few hours that is $100 tax free, and to some people that is well worth the effort. They aren't going to wait until morning either.

The reason I say this is I know people who tendered and won for the rights for metal scrap collection when bi-annual "kerbside council pickup" started. If I recall correctly they bought extra vehicles and put on people ready for it. But no-one thought about the "scabs" who drove around with an old car trailer with a cage on the back, picking up every old whitegood, all scrap metal etc as soon as people put them out. In the initial days there was huge amounts of not just ferrous metals, but brass, copper, aluminium etc which is worth big bucks in quantity - an alloy bulbar is worth something like $30-$50 in scrap. The rules of kerbside pickup were that all stuff had to be neatly stacked, but these people spread everything around looking for scrap metal, often leaving lighter stuff windblown. They would also park halfway across roads, fight/argue with other scavengers and often be towing a huge load around residential streets with the cheapest piece of cr@p they could buy with a towbar, probably no trailer brakes either. They drive slowly, and stop to gaze at the kerbside and stop suddenly very much like the normal swap meet walk. They can also get abusive when you give them a long blast on the car horn. This won't be the same with containers as most of the action will be at night or of an afternoon once bins go out for the next day. However I believe the people who tender for the recycling pickup have factored into their calcs that they will get an earn on containers and haven't thought about the extent of scavenging that will probably occur.

South Australia have had this for many years, but I bet it started prior to the council providing yellow recycle bins. Will watch with interest and see how many complaints there are about being woken up during the night with bottles tinkling and creaky old trailers moving up and down streets towed by clapped out old Jackeroos. Not being derogatory here, just my observation of the typical scavenger vehicle/trailer combo! Not blaming scavengers either, they are out doing something and when you cash in scrap nowadays (and I bet containers will be the same) you have to give details and records are kept of how much gets paid so eventually the ATO/Centrelink will take notice and look at it as income and hopefully reduce benefits accordingly.
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If we all had the same (good) taste, who would buy all the Fords?
commodorenut Offline
#2 Posted : Monday, 20 November 2017 8:24:12 PM(UTC)
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Totally agree with you Byron.

I suffered the kerbside issue 10 years ago when I moved house. For about a week I spent an hour or 2 sorting rubbish at the old place, and stacking it up for council collection.
I initially kept it all inside the property line, as you're not allowed to put it out on the kerb until the Sunday before.

After a couple of days, I had a small, neatly stacked pile, about 3-4 cubic metres in size. A mix of old packing boxes, VCRs, tape decks, an old tube TV, and some general workshop rubbish - steel offcuts, timber offcuts etc. I had it all layed out neatly sorted, so someone could easily take the timber for firewood, the metal for scrap etc.

I came back to find it everywhere. Someone moved a good 2 cubic metres of crap (scattered at random) to get to a VCR, simply to cut the cord off. I had styrofoam bundled all togther - tied with old speaker wire, and the mongrels cut the wire off to take it & let the foam blow all over the street. From what would have been lucky to be the footprint of a small car, I now had half the yard covered in crap.

The worst were 20L buckets of bolts & other fasteners I'd kept off all the cars I'd wrecked over the years. They went rusty after being flooded. I was going to take them to the scrappy, but figured i'd leave some treasure for the metal scabs. Then I found some asshole had tipped out the bolts & taken the buckets! I spotted the buckets 3 doors down, stacked up beside his garage, so out of anger, I took them back, and drilled a hole in each one. Took me forever with a magnet to clear the lawn of bolts, and pack them into cardboard boxes instead.

On about the 5th day I was walking out to the boot of the car with some old welding leads when a clapped-out 70s land cruiser rolled to a stop opposite my place.
Guy is half hanging out the driver's window, almost dragging his knuckes on the ground. He yells out "hey, you chucking that cable out too?"
I pretended not to hear him, so he got out, and comes over, wanting the cable. I told him I'm taking it with me, and he replied "oh dam, I thought I could get some more copper - I cut all the leads off this stuff the other night." In disbelief, I said "what about the old speaker wire holding all the styrofoam in bundles?" "yep, took that too."

No shame at all - he didn't believe he'd done anything wrong - openly admitting he was the one who "trashed" my neat piles. When I pointed to all the styrofoam around the street (some had been hit or run over by cars) he just shrugged.

He then got nasty when I wouldn't give him "first option" on any more junk, and said "I know where you live" so I replied "I know where you live - up around the corner, and I've moved out of here, and you don't have a clue where I've gone." He didn't like that, and took off.

So with that sort of mentality from someone confronted by the person they wronged - having no clue that what they did is actually wrong, it's only going to be far worse with an exhorbitant "re-capture" value put on waste packages. Like you said, 10c each - only takes 1000 to make $100. I probably use 4-5 "containers" a day that fit the bill. Add in the 4 others in my house, and we'd be up around a dozen at least maybe 15. There's $1.20 to $1.50 per day, or $10 a week. If the neighbours are similar, and they did my street once a week, that would be over $400 in one night - maybe as little as a few hours "work" too. I really don't see why it's needed, when people already recycle cans & bottles willingly. If you take a look out the window on any freeway it's more often littered with cigarette packs, fast-food bags, pink batts & flexible aircon ducts. Drink containers are the least of the litter problem.

We collected cans for a little while for my niece's school (she lives with us). It wasn't hard to separate & keep them. I'm thinking we should do the same now, but for us.



I think councils will be onto it quickly though, especially if they run the waste collection service themselves (like my council does) and see the profits being eroded.
I booked a council pickup for a fridge, took the doors off, and put it out as instructed. Within hours a ute pulled up & took it. I wrote down the plate, just in case anything came back to me (I once put a TV out, and the scab came to the door and had the hide to ask if I still had the remote for it).
Anyway, Monday morning I rang council at 8:30 to cancel the collection. They were already shitty because they'd turned up at 7am to an empty kerb. I told the lady what happened & she asked for the plate. Apparently they keep records of serial scabs. Not sure what they do about it though.



Kerbside collections can work the other way too - positively - since then I've never booked one, but had plenty of benefit. I've put out another fridge, a dozen old PC cases, some old metal boxes, old rusty car doors, alloy rims, a swing set, gazebo posts, a failed hot water tank, car batteries - too much to remember, and it's normally gone within hours. If something sits overnight I usually put a "free" sign on it & it goes quick.

Funniest one was the little Indian fellow in a hilux, trying to take the old 400L hot water tank. He would be lucky to weigh 60kg. He tried tilting it in, rolling it up a 4x2 (and nearly rolled it over himself). Nothing worked. He came back 1/2 hour later - his wife in the front of the ute this time. She got out, in the traditional colourful dress, stood it up, waved him to back the ute up to it, tipped the top into the ute, and shoved the bottom up into the tray like it was nothing. She had balls!
Cheers,

Mick
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HK1837 Offline
#3 Posted : Wednesday, 29 November 2017 1:19:19 PM(UTC)
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I also just noticed this morning something that I didn’t think of.

Coles infused sparkling water was $1.50 for 1.25L on Monday. This morning they are $1.61. So 10c bounty PLUS GST. Which means for every container sold new the 10c bounty is added which in theory you get back when you return the bottle, BUT the ATO collects 1c extra GST.

Also bought a 24 pack of Mount Frankiln small size water bottles for $5 on the weekend. There is $2.40 of bottle bounty in this during this transition period, so the water actually costs you just under 11c a bottle. But that $5, 24 pack will now be $7.64 ($5 + $2.40 + 24c GST), so they are now just under 32c a bottle!
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If we all had the same (good) taste, who would buy all the Fords?
KBM Offline
#4 Posted : Wednesday, 29 November 2017 5:24:10 PM(UTC)
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It sucks when you do the math. who ends up richer, not the consumer that's for sure.
I remember as a kid when the GLASS soft drink bottles were worth 5c on return. We used to jump the back fence and raid the local milkbar of a couple of bottles to get a bag of mixed lollies. He got wise and got himself a dog. Those old coke bottles are worth a bit now.
wbute Offline
#5 Posted : Saturday, 2 December 2017 5:00:29 PM(UTC)
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This is the biggest rip off scheme in history. You pay more than you will ever get back by the time you waste an hour taking this rubbish to the collection joint. That’s if you live in town. There’s no way I am packing this rubbish up and taking it on a 250km round trip to get my money back.
This makes the government money! Any unclaimed money they have gouged from the packers stays in their coffers. You can bet your bottom dollar that’s most of it!
Not to mention that it will nearly break all the small business who pack/manufacture these products. There have been small companies handed bills of $70000 to cover the collection fees. These are passed on to the mug consumer, but the company needs to find the money first!
This is a total joke, next to no one will do it, the containers will still go in the rubbish, either by the consumer or by the recycling organisation. They are filling landfill now with unsalable glass.
It’s a thinly disguised tax on containers. Who the hell is going to spend 10 hours collecting 1000 containers for $100? That’s $10 an hour.
HK1837 Offline
#6 Posted : Saturday, 2 December 2017 5:19:34 PM(UTC)
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The recycle companies that pickup the yellow bins are already setup to get 10c back for every container that goes in the yellow bins.
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If we all had the same (good) taste, who would buy all the Fords?
commodorenut Offline
#7 Posted : Saturday, 2 December 2017 9:05:37 PM(UTC)
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And you can bet it's some NSW politician's mate, or a disgraced pollie, who will become CEO of "Return & Earn Pty Ltd" - every container not returned nets them 10c profit. Every container returned takes out 90% of their collection & recycling costs, so they can probably still turn a profit on saleable items (like aluminium cans). Damn good business model when te govt legislates a whole new market for you.....
Cheers,

Mick
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wbute Offline
#8 Posted : Sunday, 3 December 2017 6:45:39 AM(UTC)
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Right, so if I buy a box of beer, drive to to the collection joint with my empties I will get $2.40 for my effort? Let’s say for I live 9.6 km from the collection point (just for ease, that’s what my Hilux averages), I will burn 2 litres of diesel. At $1.30 for fuel, I just spent $2.60 on diesel. I know that’s simplistic but the logic is undeniable. Recycling is a completely inefficient system. To actually achieve a result that’s works, you need to re-use containers. We used to have enough common sense to do this.
My local town has set its tip up as a modern recycling thing. Now the recycling rubbish gets driven 350km to Sydney. Hmm. That’s effective. Wear out trucks, roads and cause more environmental damage than ever saved by doing it in the first place. The non recyclable rubbish gets driven 100km to another town. To top it off, as a farmer here, I pay for a rubbish service that I don’t use(there is no pick up of rubbish or recycling for farms) then get slugged if I do take my bins to the tip as well. Now I am paying $5 extra to buy a box of beer so I can claim $2.40 back after I drive to whoop whoop as well? That’s not logical to anyone is it? Surely not.
Can’t everyone see this for what it is? It’s a tax.

HK1837 Offline
#9 Posted : Sunday, 3 December 2017 7:13:11 AM(UTC)
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I think the idea is sound for areas where you can return the containers as part of your normal daily routine. My concerns are:

Wbute's scenario for remoter areas.
That it is unmanageable.
Scavengers raiding residential recycle bins in the middle of the night.
1c GST added to the 10c bounty on new containers (tax on a tax).

If I cannot efficiently and easily return the containers i'll give them to a charity, scouts etc. They collect cans now - this will be an extension. I have an extra old Wizbin (a proper Wizbin from 1982 era when those bins were first introduced into Lake Macquarie). I'm filling it with containers. Will suss out how to return them. If too hard i'll donate as I said until it becomes easier.

When I go for a walk around here, there are locations that morons seem to throw their rubbish out the window of their car. Paper, cardboard etc are still rubbish but they will degrade relatively quickly. However the countless plastic bottles won't. When I was a kid you'd never see any bottles left around as kids picked them up and got 5c for them. I suspect the same thing will happen now.
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If we all had the same (good) taste, who would buy all the Fords?
wbute Offline
#10 Posted : Sunday, 3 December 2017 12:00:51 PM(UTC)
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Yeah if you are into this kind of thing it’s great. If you are not, then you have no opt out option. I just end up subsidising everyone else. It’s not democratic the way these ideals are forced upon the community. You have no choice. It’s just wrong. It should be voluntary for the manufacturer and paid for by the rubbish rates we already pay. End of story.
commodorenut Offline
#11 Posted : Sunday, 3 December 2017 8:30:16 PM(UTC)
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I found out a bit more about this recently. The website does have most of the info on it: http://returnandearn.org.au/

However, what was even more alarming, is that Woolworths were one of the main vocal proponents of the scheme. There's no way they'd want to be involved unless there's something in it for them..... and whaddaya know - one of the refund options is a Woolworths voucher.....

It's also a corporate JV between Cleanaway & a Norwegian company called TOMRA. Once again, big corporates running a scam/scheme - and when corporates get involved, you can bet there's at lest 40% of the money going into their pockets as pure profit.

I have to laugh when they say the goal is a 40% reduction in litter. What a joke. Most of the litter I see travelling the M5, M7, and various arterials in Sydney's south-west, north-west, and Illawarra regions, are not items that are eligible for the 10c refund anyway.

And the lack of collection points - even in the metro area - is pathetic. They reckon most Woolworths will take them over the counter at 180 of the approx 225 stores they have in NSW, but I can't see that going down too well when ol' mate down the road (or his wife) takes in 2 cartons of empty stubbies to hand in over the counter at Woolies when he goes in for the weekly groceries. Perhaps having the collection point at a local Bottle shop might be more appropriate.
Cheers,

Mick
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HK1837 Offline
#12 Posted : Monday, 4 December 2017 5:56:11 AM(UTC)
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At Woolies yesterday. The 1.25L bottles of sparkling, infused water used to be $1.50. Now they are $1.65. 10c + GST + 4c gouge. The 20 packs of small water bottles that normally retailed for $10 however were $12, so only the extra $2 in bounty, no GST and no gouge.

I just had a look on the map where I can return. I know this will gradually increase, but the only locations anywhere near me are reverse vending machines in Woolies, all three at least 15min drive away, all in areas of lower socio-economic population (basically the Woolies where you will regularly see people shopping in their dressing gowns at 10am). So i'm buggered if i'm going to any of those, I can't imagine them happy to have me rock up with a full wizbin, and I imagine there will be line ups as well. Plus any of these three locations if you leave your car for too long you might lose your wheels!
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If we all had the same (good) taste, who would buy all the Fords?
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