Dear Region Commissioners, District Commissioners and Group Leaders

We are now just over six weeks away from the start of the container refund scheme in Queensland, with the official start date on 1 November 2018.   (all containers sold after 1 November 2018 are eligible for a refund).

What’s in it for my Group

Information from Scouts South Australia is that their scout groups all operate container donation points,  passive groups make between $2500 – $3000 per year,  while groups that actively collect containers make between $10,000 and $12,000 per year.   This is a steady income stream available to all scout groups, so I encourage you to consider this opportunity.   Remember there is no requirement to jump in now,  the opportunity is there to start at any time.

Group Leaders can you please confirm your groups intention to set up a donation point or not.  A return email will do, Pease include your Scout groups name.

We understand that the Queensland Government will be providing small grants towards setup costs. At this stage we do not know when the grants will be open for applications, however we expect that organisations with a state office (eg Scouts) will be required to lodge one application on behalf of their affiliated groups. Consequently Scouts Queensland will lodge a single application on behalf of groups intending to set up a donation point. As requested please let us know your group’s intentions as soon as possible by return email, so we can act quickly when the time comes.

Remember:  Groups are not permitted under any circumstances are to pay a refund value or part refund value for a container.  This is restricted to licenced refund points.

What is an eligible container under the scheme

The attached list details what containers are eligible for a refund under the scheme,  this link will take you to the department of environment website

The list of eligible containers is consistent across all states that have a container refund scheme (South Australia, Northern Territory, New South Wales, ACT).    WA are also on the way to having a refund scheme.

Do I need to sort the donated containers

NO,  this is the job of the Refund Point Operator.  They will sort containers by material type and whether eligible or ineligible, and pay the refund based on their count.

Donation points can accept all containers,  but you will only be paid on eligible containers.

The only checking needed at a Scouts donation point is checking for and removing any rubbish (food waste etc) that finds its way into your container store.

How to get setup to collect and store containers.

Size of Donation area:  Keep under 10 m²  (3.1m x 3.1m).   Keep it under this size to avoid issues with your local council,  above this size will probably have the council on your back due to the size and scope (becoming commercial), and requiring a material change of use and development application to be lodged with the local council.


Suggested options for scout donation points:

  1. A dedicated 3x3m shed, with suitable chutes that feed containers into wheelie bins stored inside the shed.  (Stratco have provided a quote for this however the price will depend on the number of sheds ordered). If interested in this option please advise in return email.
  2. Re-task an existing shed towards container recycling
  3. Locate a dedicated collections cage on your property.
  4. Build a secure wheelie bin area to receive donated containers.
    (areas should be covered)

No doubt there will be other ways to receive and securely store donated containers, feel free to exercise your minds.   Maybe start small and reassess in a years time,  there is no right or wrong way to do this.

We expect that some refund point operators will support community organisations by providing cages/ wheelie bins.  Be cautious and read the fine print for hidden costs or penalties, and send them into branch for us to consider.


Remember that eligible containers are a new form of cash, and the refund value is a lot higher than the product value.  When setting up your donation point consider security and how you can reduce the risk of theft.

Nuisance considerations

there are a couple of “nuisance” matters that will need to be taken into account when setting up your donation point.

  1. Traffic flow and traffic volume (risks of intermingling vehicles and pedestrians, and volume of traffic through your Scout group property)
  2. Pests (Rodents, cockroaches, flies, etc)
  3. Environmental (broken glass, and liquid run-off)
  4. Noise
  5. Smells/Odours

Appropriate plans must be in place to reduce/ minimise these “nuisances” and their impact on Scouting activities, property, environment and neighbours.

Growing Donations

While members and their families will support the group, a couple of great ways to grow the donations and get extra funds are

  1. Get around the neighbourhood with leaflets about the Scout group receiving donated containers and ask residents to support the group.
  2. Advertise and Do monthly container drive (assuming the group or a parent has a trailer and cage) and pick up from the community.
  3. Talk with local business’s – coffee shops, cafe’s, pubs, clubs, restaurants etc and see if they will support scouts by donating their contianers.  You don’t have to physically collect these, but work with them and a refund point operator to do the collecting direct from the coffee shop, pub etc with the refund value going to Scouts).

Refund Depots

Scouts QLd are in contact with refund point operators in South East Qld, both Not-for-profit and Commercial.

We have agreed terms with a Not-forProfit operator to collect from Scout dens within reasonable proximity of their depots at no cost.   (Ie the Scout Group will get the full refund value of 10c per eligible container).

Commercial refund point operators have indicated they intend to charge a collection fee to pick up donated containers.   In some cases this will be a flat fee and others it will be based on the number of containers collected.  To get the best deal,  Scouts Queensland will negotiate on behalf of Scout Groups,  as our combined volume of donated containers gives us a very strong bargaining position.  Please remember that Collections agreements are commercial contracts (under QBSI only the Chief Commissioner or General Manager have the authority to sign contracts).    Consequently if you are approached please re-direct any organisation that wants to collect containers from your den to Scouts Qld General Manager 0429 208 315.

Scouts Qld will be contacting refund point operators outside of South East Queensland shortly to open discussions.

List of eligible beverage containers

Click on the link for the list Qld Container Refund Scheme-eligible beverage containers

In the meantime if you have any questions please contact me by email or phone


Gavin Kelly
General Manager