Across NSW, people have been paying higher prices for bottles and cans for the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) for the past month, and there are still a number of questions surrounding the logistics of the initiative.
Under the CDS, consumers should be able to return eligible beverage containers for recycling in exchange for a 10-cent refund.
Reimbursement is claimable as of December 1, through the implementation of reverse vending machine kiosks, but as yet there are only a handful of collection points that have been set up in the Mid Coast region.
Woolworths was announced as the first partner in the Return and Earn scheme on October 9. This arrangement promised 180 collection points in metro and regional areas of NSW by the December 1 launch, but the deadline is fast approaching, and hardly any collection points have been identified.
An EPA spokesperson said that more than 200 collection points across NSW are available online at www.returnandearn.org.au, and more will be rolled out across December.
“The NSW Government is working closely with the Network Operator, Tomra Cleanaway, to continue rolling out collection points. This is just the start of the roll out, many more sites are currently being finalised,” they said.
A spokesperson for Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead said that Mr Bromhead was very disappointed with the way the roll-out of deposit stations has occurred.
“It was always going to be a gradual roll-out across December,” he said.
“Stephen requested eight deposit stations for the Myall Lakes area, and while we understand that with the gradual roll-out not everyone would get all their bins on December 1, we had hoped there would be clearer instructions.
“The Minister’s office have said that at least one station will be made available in the Myall Lakes area at the beginning of December, but we don’t know the location of that collection point at this stage.
“The intention is that anyone who wants to get rid of bulk bottles and cans will also be able to drop them off at a number of local surf clubs, which will have bins available.
“The bins will then be collected, and the credit will go to the surf clubs. We don’t currently have confirmation of which surf clubs will be involved in this.
“Corner stores and petrol stations have been offered the opportunity to collect bottles and cans, reimbursing customers across the counters, then being reimbursed when the bins are full and collected. Involvement in this is entirely at the business owner’s discretion.”
NSW State Government appointed network operator of the CDS TOMRA Cleanaway has been contacted for comment.