SA can and bottle return goes high-tech

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 29th June 2010

South Australia has announced trials of Container Deposit ‘reverse vending machines’, where can and bottle collectors can put their cans and bottles into a ‘hole in the wall’ for a return of their 10c deposit.

The machines, to be trialled at Centro Hollywood Shopping Centre, are intended to further boost uptake of South Australia’s Container Deposit system, which processes over 540 million containers every year – the largest in Australia.

RVM’s are common in European countries, Canada and some states in the USA. The technology is similar to retail banking ATMs, but the RVM identifies, sorts and pays deposits on cans, bottles and cartons covered by container deposit legislation. Over 1200 different types of container deposit beverage containers have been pre-scanned to be accepted by the RVM.

The pilot program will be launched by Tim O’Loughlin Commissioner of Sustainability representing the Premier.

“South Australians strongly embrace deposits on beverage containers, and as our lifestyle and product range continues to grow, new technology was only a matter of time,” said Executive Director of Keep South Australia Beautiful John Phillips.

“Our target of zero waste in South Australia is leading the nation, and combined with new technology and community support, we proportionately save more finite resources and divert more waste from landfill than any other State or Territory” he said.

“CDL has been successful in reducing litter in South Australia and following raising the deposit from 5c to 10c we have seen increased recycling levels that are the envy of the nation” Phillips added.

The RVM trial is a joint partnership between Centro Hollywood Shopping Centre, Statewide Recycling and RVM manufacturer Wincor Nixdorf.

Community recyclers choosing to use the RVM will be assisted through the process of placing items into the ‘hole in the wall’ and collecting their payment during the trial period.