Prior to 1901 street rubbish collection was undertaken by private contractors. From that time on the council provided the service right up until the 1990s when it was returned in part to private contractors again. During the mid 20th century bottles were returned to the local shop and a deposit refunded. This encouraged people to recycle bottles in order to receive the refund. In particular, children loved this, keeping an eye out for any bottles lying around and collecting the extra pocket money.
Newspapers were collected by the Salvation Army and Boy Scouts for recycling and used by fish and chip shops and greengrocers for wrapping and packaging. Baby boomers will remember with fondness cashing in their bottles and buying their fish and chips in newspaper. In the late 20th century reducing and recycling rubbish became a strong focus. Councils introduced kerbside recycling programs and the community took to recycling with vigour. Incredibly, by 2002 a quarter of the rubbish collected from households was recyclable.
In 1977 Kartaway Rubbish Removals bin & skip hire was established in Melbourne. Expanding to a national company and establishing Recycling Depots, including one in East Brunswick, Melbourne, Kartaway are now leaders in recycling. The Recycling Depot at 32 Kirkdale Rd, East Brunswick was opened in 1997 and was the first public Recycling Depot open to the public. The Depot focusses on diverting as much rubbish from landfill as possible. It is able to accept green waste, metal, cardboard, timber, batteries, electronic waste, dirt, brick, concrete and asphalt.