LOCALS are being asked to throw in their two cents worth on litter, with the state government set to implement a container deposit scheme by July 2017.
Two options are being considered by the government, including a 10c refund system similar to initiatives in South Australia and the Northern Territory, and a beverage-industry proposed “Thirst for Good” campaign which would build on existing infrastructure and incentivise community groups to collect drink containers.
Northern Tablelands Greens candidate Mercurius Goldstein said a 10c refund deposit scheme would be “of enormous benefit” to the community.
Mr Goldstein said local Greens and community groups had noticed that drink containers made up the majority of litter collected at community clean ups.
While a 10c refund may not directly make a litterbug think twice about dropping their waste on the ground, Mr Goldstein said “if they’re not willing to collect the refund, there’s plenty of people who are”.
The Greens candidate also thought the refund scheme could create more local jobs.
“A recycling centre could become a great source of local employment, whether it be part-time or volunteers looking to get back into the workforce,” he said.
Mr Goldstein said a greater focus on recycling would save local councils from the need to extend landfills.
In 2014-15 an estimated 4.2 billion drink containers were consumed in NSW.
The Environmental Protection Authority estimated about 64 per cent of these containers were recycled, 32 per cent went to landfill, while the remaining four per cent, some 168 million bottles, were littered.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has encouraged locals to have their say on the discussion paper and said it was an opportunity for communities to help shape the design of the scheme and to get litter out the parks, roadsides and waterways in the electorate.
“I am delighted that we will have a container deposit scheme in NSW – it cannot begin soon enough,” Mr Marshall said.
“A cost-effective container deposit scheme would help cut down on this litter, make it easier for our communities to recycle and improve our neighbourhoods for everyone to enjoy,” Mr Marshall said.
The government has committed to implementing a scheme by July 1, 2017.
Submissions can be made online or by email to container.deposit@epa. nsw.gov.au
All feedback must be received by February 26, 2016.