Container Refund Scheme | Brisbane City Council

Container Refund Scheme

On 1 November 2018, a statewide container refund scheme came into effect. The scheme gives people an incentive to collect and return containers for recycling, in exchange for a 10 cent refund payment.

Containers for Change is a Queensland Government scheme that places a 10 cent deposit on drink containers (150ml to three litres). That deposit is redeemable at a container refund point. 

The scheme is a litter reduction measure to remove drink containers from the litter stream. It is also a potential source of revenue for residents and community groups. 

The scheme is very similar to that which has been in place in South Australia for many years.

Where to drop off containers

Council’s resource recovery centres will not provide refunds for containers.

A list of the proposed refund collection points is available on the Containers for Change website.

Residents can continue to place their drink containers in their recycling bin at home. Residents can also place their drink containers in the recycling bins at the resource recovery centres. Council will use any refunds collected to offset the cost of providing the city’s waste services.

Collecting containers

Council encourages litter prevention in Brisbane to keep our city clean, green and sustainable. There are community programs that encourage residents to pick-up litter in their communities to keep it out of our streets, bushlands and waterways.

Find out more about Council’s litter prevention programs.

For health and safety reasons, people should not go through bins to take items out of the bins. This is regardless of whether the wheelie bins out on the kerb for pick-up or public bins.


Brisbane City Council Health, Safety and Amenity Local Law 2009 prohibits a person from removing or disturbing the cover of a waste container, except when placing waste in the container. Failure to comply with this provision may result in a fine.

Residents need to consider the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 when taking eligible container to refund point or resource recovery centre. Residents must ensure they are disposing of waste responsibly. Council can issue on-the-spot fines for littering and illegal dumping.

Lodging a complaint

You can lodge a complaint to Council about a person interfering with a waste container or causing litter or illegal dumping.

11 April 2019