Almost 100 million containers collected by NSW Return and Earn

Almost 100 million containers have been returned since the NSW Return and Earn scheme began in December last year, according to the official website.

Reverse vending machine technology, alongside over-the-counter and automated depots have helped NSW reach this goal. As of Monday, the website showed more than 98 million containers collected.

Related stories:

NSW Minister for Environment, Gabrielle Upton said more than five million drink containers had been returned over the second weekend of February.

Nepean Distributors, a drinks product supplier to schools and sporting club canteens, have been supporting the scheme and having a positive impact on the local community, according to EPA NSW.

In two months, Nepean Distributors has processed 133,034 containers, with over record of 11,879 in a day.

“It is making people, especially kids and teenagers, think about recycling. We want to help change their mindset to think about their environment and cleaning up their local park,” Managing Director of Nepean Distributors, Anthony Morrissey said.

They have also teamed up with local sports groups such as Macarthur BMX to help fundraise for the club and encourage locals to donate their refunds to charities like the African AIDS Foundation.

WCRA forum discusses interstate waste transport issue

NSW police, government authorities and the waste industry have met to discuss their concerns on the issue of interstate waste transportation.

NSW Police, EPA NSW, SafeWork NSW, Stay Safe Committee and waste industry representatives attended a dedicated forum last week, facilitated by the Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association of NSW (WCRA).

The forum focused on the environmental and safety risks of waste transport from NSW to south-east Queensland, which has long been linked by industry representatives to the lack of a landfill levy in Queensland.

Convenor Dr Tony Wilkins stated that the industry is seeking to work with government to promptly find solutions to the issue.

Related stories:

The forum heard that the volume of waste being transported north by a combination of road and rail has now exceeded in excess of a one million tonnes per annum. The economic loss to NSW from unpaid waste levies exceeds $120 million per annum, WCRA highlighted.

Chief Inspector Phil Brooks from NSW Police stated in his presentation that the large volume of heavy vehicle truck movements, combined with police observations of fatigued drivers and poorly maintained truck and trailers, confirmed there is potential for even more serious accidents.

The forum resolved that all attendees write to the NSW Premier expressing their concerns and that WCRA would write to the NSW EPA requesting that it hold a second forum by 1 March, 2018. WCRA also committed to increase its promotion of Chain of Responsibility training across the industry.

The forum argued the NSW Government should be exploring further measures to curb the complex issue.

Some suggestions included: licensing waste transporters and waste by transfer facilities, regulating minimum environmental and safety standards on equipment used to transport waste over long distances, and banning waste levy rebates for exhuming landfilled waste and rebates for landfills that operate as de-facto transfer stations without development approval.

 

Return and Earn collection points mapped out

Collection points for NSW’s container deposit scheme, Return and Earn, have been mapped out on its website. 

Under the scheme, people in NSW will be able to return most empty beverage containers between 150 ml and three litres to collection points for a 10-cent refund.

There will be more than 200 collection points across NSW when Return and Earn launches on 1 December 2017.

Collection points include reverse vending machines, over-the-counter sites such as cafes, small grocers and news agencies and automated depots for high volumes of returns.

Related stories:

Refunds can be received as cash, digital payment, in-store credit or a charity donation.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said more collection points will be finalised as the scheme rolls out.

“This is the first step in rolling out more than 500 collection points across NSW,” Ms Upton said.

The new myTOMRA app for smartphones is also slated to allow container refunds to be deposited securely into registered PayPal accounts.

To receive the electronic refund, a person claiming the refund simply needs to scan a barcode from the app under the barcode reader on the front of the reverse vending machines before depositing the containers.

Other refund options include donating the refund to a charity or community group and printing out a refund docket that can be exchanged for cash or redeemed on in-store purchases at the local retail partner.