Getting bottles and cans out of our streets, beaches and waterways

Published: 4 Oct 2016

NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced a re-elected Baird Government will introduce reverse vending machines across the state as part of a cost-effective container deposit scheme for the recycling of drink containers.

Mr Baird and Environment Minister Rob Stokes today announced the decision at Coogee beach and said the government will engage in comprehensive community consultation on the design of the scheme and the incentive structure for communities to participate.

By 1 July 2017, communities will be rewarded for their recycling efforts through the use of reverse vending machines at popular beaches, parks, and public spaces across NSW.

The Baird Government’s preferred model is a cost-effective scheme in which consumers, or a charity of their choice, receive a small financial reward for depositing a drink container in a reverse vending machine; but we are open to better alternatives.

“We want to help communities look after their local environment by being better equipped to tackle litter and increase recycling,” Mr Baird said.

“We estimate that at least 800 reverse vending machines will be installed across NSW – offering communities the opportunity to be rewarded for contributing to positive environmental outcomes in the places where they are most needed.”

Mr Stokes said the government has decided that a state-based scheme, using reverse vending machines and targeting containers that are predominantly consumed away-from-home, will be both cost efficient and effective.

“Beverage containers currently account for one in every three pieces of litter, polluting our beaches, parks and waterways,” Mr Stokes said.

“Our container deposit scheme will complement, rather than compete with, our existing kerbside recycling system and help the government achievement our ambitious litter reduction and recycling targets.

“Over the next 12 months we will consult with the community and industry on how we will implement a scheme, which will be underpinned by a comprehensive cost benefit analysis.

“The final design of the container deposit scheme will be announced in 2016, and will include the use of reverse vending machines and an incentive for the community to participate.”

The consultation with the community and industry will focus on:

  • The location of reverse vending machines;
  • The incentive for community participation;
  • The scope of containers to be redeemable under the scheme; and
  • The involvement of local government and the recycling industry in the scheme.

Member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith said this announcement was a great day for communities across NSW who have campaigned for a container deposit scheme.

“The cost to the community of littering goes beyond visual pollution. Greater respect for neighbourhoods by disposing of rubbish properly helps to protect our local natural environment and limits health impacts for people and sea life,” Mr Notley-Smith said.

“I’m proud to be part of a government that has listened to strong community concerns about litter and will introduce a container deposit scheme in just over two years.

“Under Mike Baird’s leadership we have the ambitious goal of having the lowest litter rate in the nation and a container deposit scheme will be a crucial element in achieving that goal.”

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