“GABRIELLE Upton, where do I deposit these?”
AS Bathurst joins the list of towns with Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) collection points, member for Orange Philip Donato has fired off a volley of shots at the state government over the absence of drop-off locations in his electorate.
Bathurst residents can now join their counterparts in Cowra, Wellington, Dunedoo and Coonabarabran in recouping 10 cents for every bottle and can under the auspices of the CDS, also known as Return and Earn.
The scheme was slated to start across the state on Friday, but while it was promised that 85 per cent of NSW’s proposed collection 500 sites would be ready, just 230 were completed.
Orange was not among them.
In a blistering attack aimed at environment minister Gabrielle Upton and the state government, Mr Donato railed against the absence of a drop-off point in his constituency.
“Regional NSW has already commenced paying increased costs to purchase bottled and canned drinks to support a scheme that isn’t even available to us,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“An aim to reduce landfill and environmental impact is way off target when larger populous regional centres such as Orange, Parkes and Forbes have been excluded when the output of refuse is greater than some locations which have been selected.
“This is a botched job that with the time allocated to planning could well have been avoided.”
The cost of canned and bottled beer and soft drinks increased from November 1 to cover the impacts of the scheme, with some rising in price by up to 15 cents a bottle or container.
Return and Earn will be the largest litter reduction scheme introduced by the state, with the goal of reducing litter volume by 40 per cent by 2020.
Just two days before the official launch, Bathurst’s collection point for refunds was yet to be finalised, but on launch day, Metro Petroleum on Bant Street in South Bathurst was announced as an over-the-counter collection point.
Store owner Raja Kallem said while the retail outlet would start accepting containers for recycling on Saturday, it was yet to receive an official collection box so in the meantime all deposits would be stored on the premises in bags.
For more information on the Container Deposit Scheme visit www.returnandearn.org.au.