ENVIRONMENT

General support for new container refund scheme

By Craig Chappelle

THE SHIRE of Denmark is supportive of the State government’s recently announced Containers for Change container deposit scheme (CDS), scheduled to begin operation in June next year.

An example of a large reverse-vending machine of the kind proposed under the state’s container recycling scheme.

Shire assets and sustainable development director David King said that the administration would continue to monitor the scheme’s progress, which was still short on details such as the cost of establishing collection points.

“People in Denmark are passionate about properly disposing of waste, and the CDS would appear to serve that interest,” Mr King said.

“Council will consider the matter later this year, when more details are known.”

Plantagenet shire CEO Rob Stewart said that his council would work closely with its recycling contractor to identify a location for approved containers to be deposited.

A decision had not yet been made about who would operate the depot.

Under the scheme eligible containers will attract a 10c refund per container when delivered to an approved refund point.

These will range from over-the-counter depots providing spot refunds, to ‘drop and go’ facilities that will deposit refunds into customers’ nominated bank accounts after their containers are counted.

Announcing the scheme commencement date Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said that the CDS would change consumer behaviour and help create 500 jobs across the state, including employment for people with disabilities and the long-term unemployed.

A total of 170 fulltime or flexible points will be opened to begin with, with a further 59 promised by the end of 2020.

Greens(WA) SouthWest MLC Dianne Evers said that the scheme was welcome but needed to be extended to include items that would further reduce litter and improve recycling.

“I am baffled by the government’s decision not to put the beverage industry in charge of the scheme,” Ms Evers said.

“Industry profits are dented each time someone recycles a container, so there is surely a profit incentive for industry to operate such a scheme, and do so efficiently.”

Ten cents was not much of an incentive for people to return containers, she said.

The WA Nationals have welcomed the scheme announcement but warn against regional and remote communities being left to carry the can.

Party leader Mia Davies said that there was concern about accessibility in regional and remote communities such as the Kimberley, Gascoyne and Wheatbelt, which would each have only one full-time fixed CDS refund point.

“While there are additional ‘flexible’ refund points proposed for these regions they will have significantly reduced operating hours,” Ms Davies said.

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