Get cash for cans and bottles safely

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which cause respiratory infections. The infections can range from a common cold to more serious diseases and death. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new coronavirus and was first reported in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. Other coronaviruses you may be familiar with include Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is an illness that affects the respiratory system and is caused by a new virus. The virus is spread from person to person and good hygiene can prevent infection. Symptoms of the virus can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some recover easily while others may get very sick very quickly. People with coronavirus may experience fever, flu-like symptoms including coughing, a sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath (1).


As mentioned the virus can be spread from person to person through close contact. An infectious person (including in the 24 hours before they start showing symptoms) potentially passes on droplets from their cough or sneeze, touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs and tables). A non-infected person can then catch the disease by being in contact with droplets and then touching your mouth, eyes or face. The virus is a new disease, there is no existing immunity in our community. This means that COVID-19 can spread widely and quickly (1). People who are most at risk of serious illness should they get the virus are older people, people living in residential aged care facilities and people with a compromised immune system. The Australian government has stated that 'everyone must do the following to slow down the spread of COVID-19 to protect those at risk; good hygiene, social distancing, avoid public gatherings and self-isolate' (1).

If you think you may have symptoms of COVID-19 or are showing symptoms, seek medical advice. There is a National Coronavirus Helpline who can offer advice. Call 1800 020 080 if you are wanting information on coronavirus. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Should you wish to seek help from a doctor or hospital it is recommended that you call ahead to make an appointment. The medical facility will ask you to take precautions when you attend for treatment. To protect others, wear a mask. Stay at least 1.5 metres from other people. Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow. When you visit a health professional they will tell you if you should be tested for the virus and arrange for the test accordingly. There is a global shortage of test kits that pathologists use to diagnose COVID-19 which is why targeted testing is occurring rather than widespread testing (1). You will only be tested if the doctor decides you meet the testing criteria which is as follows:

If in the past 14 days, you have returned from overseas and have developed a respiratory illness with or without fever.
You have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days and you develop a respiratory illness with or without fever.

  • You are suffering from severe community-acquired pneumonia and there is no clear cause.
  • You are a healthcare worker who directly works with patients and you have respiratory illness or fever.

It may take a few days for the test results to come back. If you have serious symptoms you will be kept in a hospital where you will be isolated from other patients. This is to stop the virus from spreading. If your doctor says that you are well enough to return home while waiting for the result you should self-isolate and not attend work or school, you must protect yourself and others. Support is available if you are concerned about COVID-19 or are distressed because you are self-isolating or sick. Excessive worry about infectious disease can affect both your physical and mental health (2). For more information on the practical psychological skills to help you and your loved ones cope with anxiety and worries of COVID-19 go to the Head to Health website [ covid-19-support]

With the current pandemic, society has had to significantly adjust to normal life. Returning containers safely is paramount to all of the community including container deposit systems.

The good news is you can still return empty containers for a refund safely! At all operator depots, you are able to maintain safe social distance whilst processing your bottles for a refund. Each Automatic Redemption Terminal is at least 1.5 metres away from the next terminal. This means that you will be at least 1.5 metres from any other person operating a terminal. You will only need to touch the terminal home screen which is constantly sanitised. You simply then place your empty containers in the tray. The only thing you need to touch is your empty containers.

Scanning your barcoded ticket which is produced by the terminal automatically triggers the Cash Return Terminal to provide your refund. If you prefer not to handle cash, simply deposit the funds directly into your scheme account. Hand sanitisers are located in the depot and you use these to wash your hands after touching the keypad on the Cash Return Terminal.

Touching the screens are the only time you need to touch anything that requires you to wash your hands. Sanitisers are immediately available. Depot staff will ensure that if queuing to use the Automatic Redemption Terminal customers are maintaining appropriate social distance. Depot staff will also ensure customers are aware of the location of the sanitising machines. In a depot using a Container Deposit System technology, staff do not need to handle empty containers that have been returned by customers. The containers returned by the customers have been managed without any direct contact by staff. Returning your containers to a recycling depot using container deposit system technology means you are in the cleanest environment. You and the people around you are being assisted by staff who have been trained to ensure your hygiene needs are being met. They will also assist with maintaining social distancing and excellent personal hygiene. news/health-alerts/novel- coronavirus-2019-ncov-health- alert/what-you-need-to-know- about-coronavirus-covid-19 covid-19-support