Sat. May 28th, 2022

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The ACT government’s container deposit scheme is gaining momentum. However, as it grows in its success, it also reveals how strongly some feel about certain aspects of it. Two Canberra Times reporters, Steve Evans and Megan Doherty, have expressed their admiration for the program, but acknowledge they have very different views on whether or not other people’s recycling is free for all to cash in on. There are bigger things to worry about than enterprising people going around at night and looking in bins for cans which they can take to the “reverse vending machine” for what many people would seem like a paltry reward. There are bigger hills to die fighting on: global warming; the chasm between the riches of the billionaires and the poorest in our land; racism. Even the potholes of Canberra are more worthy of angst (though not quite anger). The track record of these centers where waste is returned to be recycled is phenomenal. The center in the Woolworths carpark in Queanbeyan gets 34,000 cans a day. Go there on a Saturday and watch the streams of enterprising people who are rewarded for the hardest work. They get small change for big effort. They do what politicians urge us to do – but sometimes do not do themselves: they get up off their backsides and work hard and get rewarded for the sweat of their brows. That’s what enterprise is. It’s what builds economies. We are told that some people are taking cans from the yellow-top bins of others. And this crime is getting the goat of the respectable citizens in suburbia. It’s a small price to pay. If your child was out collecting cans for pocket money, would that not be an excellent lesson in earning one’s own way? Would it not be better than sticking glued to a screen? I’d give the collectors a medal rather than a bollocking. Better still, I’d give them my cans. – Steve Evans Do not get me wrong, I love the ACT container deposit scheme. Since the local scheme started in 2018, more than 298 million containers have been returned. That’s a great thing. What I do not love is people ferreting through the recycling bins at 3am to take the cans and bottles for their own financial gain, setting off every dog ​​in the neighborhood and waking households up and down the street. Yep, Karen 101 right here. But, seriously, just do not. If it’s not a problem, do it during the day. Doing it under the cover of darkness just suggests people know what they are doing is wrong. We do not put any recyclable containers in our yellow bin any way, because we do deposit them with the scheme, giving the kids a bit of spending money. But every fortnight, the Coke can raiders still go through every bin in the neighborhood. Every second Tuesday, in the depths of the night, you wait to hear the tinkle of glasses and cans being removed from bins up and down the streets, people using torches to find their way and then stuffing their booty into the back of cars and on trailers behind bikes. Cue the dogs going off and the kids waking up and the disrupted sleep. I’m all for people using the scheme to earn extra cash, but if householders are putting the containers in their yellow bins for recycling, that’s their choice. People scavenge from the bins because it’s easy. I do not see too many people picking up littered containers around our parks and lakes and other public spaces any more. I 100 per cent support people collecting the cans, just not at night and not from other people’s bins. The ACT government does not seem to have a problem with the scavenging. “ACT NoWaste is not aware of materials removed from household bins being a major problem in the ACT,” it says. “The bin and its contents remain the property of the resident while it is on the resident’s property and the property of the ACT government once the bin is placed on ACT government land.” In other words, the bins are not there for anyone else to raid. Back away from the bins. – Megan Doherty What do you think? Should people leave your recycling bin alone? Is there no harm in letting those willing to use the scheme to gain some extra dollars rummage through your bins? Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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