Information on NSW deposit scheme still sketchy

Ross Earl, General Manager of the Bourke Shire Council, writes on Far West issues.

The Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) is due for introduction on December 1 but the information on how it will operate and how people can return containers to receive the deposit is at best sketchy.

It would appear the drink manufacturers started to charge an extra 14 cents per container as of November 1 with the 14c being the 10c deposit plus an administration fee.

The council is a strong supporter of the CDS and has been active in providing submissions in relation to its introduction and on the issues that would be encountered in the Far West and those places with small populations where the introduction of Reverse Vending Machines (RVM) would not be economically viable.

Under Return and Earn, most empty 150-millilitre to three-litre drink containers will be eligible for a 10c refund when presented to an approved collection point.

Container materials that may be eligible for a refund include: PET, HDPE, glass, aluminum, steel, liquid paperboard.

There is some information about the CDS on the EPA’s ‘Return and Earn’ web page www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/recycling-and-reuse/return-and-earn.

The council has received enquiries regarding the implementation and will be doing its best to be able to provide answers.

The CDS issue was raised with LGNSW last week and it is also following up the matter with the EPA.

The CDS will hopefully see a dramatic reduction of waste and litter in our community with an estimated 40% of current waste being attributed to items to which a deposit will apply. It is hoped the CDS will result in the 40% reduction and cut some clean-up costs for councils.

Code of conduct. A revised Code of Conduct for NSW councils has been circulated for comment. In discussions with LGNSW we sought to identify possible implications for councils following the Code’s introduction. LGNSW indicated it would prepare a submission on behalf of all councils which will highlight any concerns. It is interesting to note the Code of Conduct applicable to our State Parliamentarians is only two-and-a-half pages long but the Code for Local Government is over 40 pages. Submissions by councils are due on December 4.