Calls for container recycling scheme as city hits deadline on waste

Plastic fantastic: Boomerang Alliance's Annett Finger, City of Ballarat councillor Belinda Coates and No Waste Ballarat's Nicole Elliott. Picture: Kate Healy
Plastic fantastic: Boomerang Alliance's Annett Finger, City of Ballarat councillor Belinda Coates and No Waste Ballarat's Nicole Elliott. Picture: Kate Healy

Shoppers at Bridge Mall may have spied something a little strange yesterday – a massive plastic bottle to rival the Big Banana. 

Environmental group Boomerang Alliance has toured the oversized bottle around this month to bring attention to state’s lack of a container deposit scheme. 

Victoria is one of two Australian states yet to commit to a scheme, where refunds are given for the return of beverage containers to recycling depots.

The scheme was first introduced in South Australia in 1977, and has seen an overall container return rate of 79.9 per cent with a 10 cent refund for each container.

“The container refund scheme is fantastic because it decreases litter, increases recycling – especially for outside-of-home consumption,” Boomerang Alliance’s Annett Finger said. 

“It’s great for schools or any individual who wants to supplement their income … it’s a no-brainer.”

Ditchy's View

Ditchy's View

It brings the country’s complex recycling situation into sharp relief, as it scrabbles to find a solution to China’s ban on importing Australian recycling from January 1. 

City of Ballarat has previously said that the cost of processing will increase due to changes to how recycling matter is sold, and this will have an impact on waste charges for the city. 

The Courier understands that council officers have met with the municipality’s contractor SKM Recycling in the last two weeks, with a final short-term kerbside recycling offer needing to be accepted by close of business today.

Councillor Belinda Coates said the city’s draft Resource Recovery and Waste Management Strategy 2018-22 looked at “big picture aims” including litter reduction, community education and reducing waste to landfill.

“It just makes sense to reduce waste to landfill and stop recyclable materials ending up in our waterways or landfill, because it costs council money and in turn costs the community money through rates,” she said. 

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