Kerbside recyclers to get no joy from container deposit scheme

Cleaning up: The government hopes the container deposit scheme will reduce the number of drink bottles that end up as litter. Photo: FILE
Cleaning up: The government hopes the container deposit scheme will reduce the number of drink bottles that end up as litter. Photo: FILE

Orange residents who use kerbside recycling to dispose of drink containers including cans and glass bottles will not receive a 10 cent rebate under the new container deposit scheme (CDS).

Waste collection operators who pick up kerbside rubbish will be eligible to collect the 10 cent rebate for glass bottles, cans and other eligible containers, the government has confirmed, but it will be residents who are left out of pocket.

As of November 1, the majority of bottles and cans will be subject to the CDS, with beverage suppliers choosing to pass on the administration costs of approximately 15 cents per container to the consumer.

However unless they are returned to an official Return and Earn point after the scheme officially begins on December 1, consumers won’t receive the rebate, even if the bottle is recycled.

The Central Western Daily asked the office of Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton if the scheme punished people who did the right thing by using kerbside recycling to dispose of containers.

A spokesman said kerbside recycling still played a valuable role.

“Eligible containers can continue to be placed in the kerbside system, and kerbside recycling will continue to be important for containers that are typically consumed at home, some of which aren’t eligible for a refund within the scheme,” he said.

“The operators of facilities that process the containers collected in kerbside recycling will be permitted to claim the 10 cent refund on eligible containers that they process.

“It is expected that these operators will negotiate to share a part of these refunds with the relevant councils. In that case, this may result in improved waste services.”

With less than a month until the scheme begins, there is still no confirmation of where the Return and Earn collection points will be located.

The scheme will officially launch on December 1, but a levy on beverage containers has already been introduced, meaning consumers are already footing the bill.

The spokesman for Ms Upton said no locations in the central west have been made public.

“Collection Point locations are being rolled out and they will be announced as they are finalised,” he said.

The government claims the scheme will reduce littering by providing an incentive for people to dispose of containers properly.

The majority of drink containers will be part of the scheme but there are some exceptions including all plain milk containers, flavoured milk and juice containers over one litre, glass containers for wine and spirit and wine casks.

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