• Waste and recycling
  • Sustainability

Making change with the Victorian Container Deposit Scheme

Published 1 November 2023
From 1 November, residents in Port Phillip will be able to recycle eligible drink containers for a 10 cent refund via the Victorian Container Deposit Scheme (CDS Vic).

CDS Vic is a new Victorian Government initiative that will turn eligible drink containers into recycled products. In the process, it will reduce litter and create new economic opportunities, including new jobs. It’s a key part of the work that is transforming Victoria’s waste and recycling system – contributing to the state’s transition to a circular economy.

The scheme will handle various container types, including items that aren’t currently accepted in our kerbside recycling. For example, it will accept small liquid paperboard containers that are often used to package flavoured milk or juice. In this way, CDS Vic complements our existing waste services, expanding what can be recycled in our City.

Depending on the refund point, residents can choose whether to receive their refund in the form of cash, a retail voucher or as an electronic refund. They can also donate their refund to a charity or community organisation registered with the scheme.

Return points and the CDS App  

There are three different ways residents can return eligible containers – via reverse vending machines, depots and over-the-counter sites. On 1 November, we will have an over-the-counter site in our City, located at Middle Park IGA (19 – 21 Armstrong Street, Middle Park, 3206).

Return-It, our zone operator is working to establish further locations for return points throughout the municipality. All refund points in Victoria are visible through the CDS website and additional points will be added by Return-It between now and August 2024.  

Electronic refunds are managed via the CDS Vic East App. Residents can use the app to configure their preferred payment method, including bank transfer, PayPal, or donation.

Eligible containers

Most 150 ml to 3L beverage containers are eligible for a 10-cent refund – provided they are made from glass, plastic, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard. These are the containers most regularly consumed on the go and found in the litter stream.

If a container has a ‘10c’ mark, then it should be returnable, provided it is in good condition: uncrushed, empty and with the label and barcode intact. Lids can be left on – they will become part of the circular economy too and will be made into new products.

Ineligible containers

CDS Vic focuses on beverage containers that are common litter items. It doesn’t include wine or spirit bottles – or larger items that are usually found in the home. As the scheme evolves this may change.

Therefore, the below items will not be accepted for return:

  • Plain milk containers of all sizes (bottles and cartons)
  • Flavoured milk containers of 1L or more
  • Glass wine and spirit bottles
  • Cordial bottles
  • Juice containers 1L and over
  • Household food containers (for example, tuna cans)

All of the above items with the exception of plain milk cartons can be disposed of as normal – via mixed recycling bins – and in the case of glass and spirit bottles, also via our communal glass hubs.

Fundraising through the scheme

CDS Vic gives charities and community groups a new way to raise funds while helping the environment. They can:

  • receive donations directly from the community as a ‘Donation Partner’  
  • run a refund collection point themselves
  • host a container collection drive. 

Please visit the CDS Vic webpage for fundraising for more information.   

More information

For more information on the Victorian Container Deposit Scheme, including refund points, see the CDS Vic website.

For more information on what can and can’t go in our kerbside or public place mixed recycling, see our Guide to recycling bins and services.