Councils welcome Baird’s new container deposit scheme

NSW councils have welcomed a new container deposit scheme from the Baird government, which will have economic benefits for councils and recycling depots.

Image: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

The New South Wales government’s announcement that it would adopt proposals from the local government sector on a container deposit scheme has been welcomed by peak body Local Government NSW (LGNSW).

In what LGNSW President Keith Rhoades called a “win for the community”, he said the Mike Baird government’s announcement demonstrated that “people power” could overcome the vested interests of big business.

Minister for Environment Mark Speakman made the announcement, saying that a container deposit scheme would mean that ten cents would be paid for the return of specially-marked drink containers sized between 150mil and three litres.

Mr Rhoades said this “win-win for the community” was achieved despite intense lobbying by the “vested interests of big beverage companies”.

“It follows a 13-year community campaign, led by the Boomerang Alliance of more than 30 community groups and the local government sector, and will deliver both environmental and economic benefits,” Mr Rhoades said.

According to LGNSW, the container deposit scheme is expected to help cut litter by 40 per cent by 2020 and to eliminate up to 50% of marine plastic pollution damaging our beaches and waterways.

LGNSW also said that the move will boost the recycling sector by $150 million each year and attracting private investment in new recycling depots to be built across the state.

Another big “indirect economic benefit” according to Mr Rhoades is that councils will have some added funds in their coffers as a result of the scheme.

“The refunds for containers collected as part of existing kerbside collection schemes will go to councils, who will seek to pass the benefit back to their community through either better or cheaper services,” he said.

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