IN THE BAG: Jason Mordey and his business partner Jo Higgins at Paget have won the tender for the Queensland Container Return Scheme.
IN THE BAG: Jason Mordey and his business partner Jo Higgins at Paget have won the tender for the Queensland Container Return Scheme. Stuart Quinn

Mackay business wins bid to roll out cash for cans bins

EXCLUSIVE: Ten cents and a bagful of empty tins is about to become big business for a small family-run Mackay business - to the benefit of community groups, the environment and local business.

Anything Environmental, based in Paget, has secured a competitive contract to roll out the government's much vaunted cash for cans scheme in the Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac regions.

The company is expected to be the sole 'container refund provider' from Bowen to Sarina and out to Dysart and Clermont when the Queensland Container Refund Scheme launches on November 1.

The scheme will bring Queensland in line with NSW, South Australia and the Northern Territory, with Western Australia joining soon after.

Every eligible container will be worth 10 cents when returned to a container refund point.

Managers Jason Mordey and Jo Higgins have revealed they plan to roll out 15 bins in Mackay, and at least one each in Bowen, Collinsville, Airlie Beach, Seaforth, Dysart, Middlemount, Moranbah, Clermont, Proserpine, Calen and Sarina.

"It has been a hard slog to get it [the contract],” Mr Mordey said. "The process has been going on for 12 months if not more, and we were notified about a month ago that we were successful.

"We want it to be done right, and a big commercial interest wouldn't be wanting to do it like we'll be doing it for the community... that's our main thing, that's why we're putting the bins everywhere.”

Once the scheme is active, residents can return their eligible containers by placing them all in a bag, writing down their unique customer ID on a strip of paper, and depositing the bag at their nearest bin. Containers will be sorted, counted, and the money deposited to the account holder of the ID number.

Exact locations of the distinct bins, which will be green with blue lids, remains a closely guarded secret, as the government continues to negotiate and secure contracts with businesses across Queensland.

Ms Higgins said their bins and related signage was all being manufactured in Mackay.

Anything Environmental now has 10 weeks to transform themselves from an earthmoving company named Anything Earthmoving into Mackay's exclusive container refund provider.

Mr Mordey estimates the company will need to take on at least 20 staff in the long run, and eight by November 1. But job hunters are asked to be patient and wait for job applications to open.

Community groups will also be able to cash in by collecting eligible containers at events, or asking people to donate their can earnings to them.

"If you want to donate to a primary school, you can put the bag of cans in any bin around Queensland, with the school's customer ID number and the money goes straight to that school,” Mr Mordey said.

"These bins are so the community can get the 10 cents and get the bottles back to us for recycling.”

"It's so much that goes back into the community, for this little effort that they'll do,” Ms Higgins said.

Registration for customer IDs across Queensland will launch once the official website goes live in weeks to come.

Mr Mordey said Anything Environment will be flexible in terms of how often more rural areas are serviced.

How it works

BY the time the scheme officially launches on November 1, Queenslanders will have access to the official container deposit website.

Residents, including community groups, charities, schools and businesses, will be able to log in and register their details -a bank or PayPal account - to generate a unique customer ID number.

Eligible containers should be placed in any bag along with a strip of paper with the unique ID number or the name of the charity they want the refund to go to.

The bag can then be deposited at collection bins around town.

In the Mackay region, Anything Environmental will empty the bins according to a weekly, fortnightly or daily schedule. The company will at the same time make sure the bins are in good condition.

Containers will be taken to the depot and sorted, which for Anything Environmental, will be at their Interlink Ct, Paget, headquarters.

Bags will be emptied one at a time by human beings, sorted, counted and logged on the official container deposit website. Anything Environmental will also log the customer ID number or name of the charity.

Overnight the system will process the refund and deposit it into the specified account and notify them via text message or email.

Most drink containers between 150ml and 3 litres will be eligible for a refund. Excluded containers include, all plain milk, cordial bottles, concentrated pure fruit or vegetable juice containers, wine and spirit bottles, all registered health tonics or anything smaller than 150ml or greater than three litres.

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