Bid to expand SA container deposit scheme

container deposit scheme

South Australia’s local government sector is calling on the state government to include wine bottles in the container deposit scheme.

The Local Government Association of SA has made a submission to a review of the recycling scheme, listing its support for a range of areas including expanding container return points and the options for payment refunds, delivering a statewide communications campaign on the program, and providing 10 cent refunds on wine and spirit bottles.

Claire Boan, Mayor of the City of Port Adelaide Enfield council said the local government sector had been calling for changes to include wine bottles in the 10 cent refund for some time, and considered now the ideal time to highlight the benefits it would bring.

“At Port Adelaide Enfield, our communities are now relaxing and unwinding over the holidays, and this naturally comes with an increase in what’s going into our yellow recycling bins – from packaging and wrapping papers to glass wine bottles,” Boan said.

“Getting wine bottles out of yellow bins and into the container deposit scheme would save our council around $112,000 per year – and with recent increases in waste costs, savings like this make a big difference and help put downward pressure on council rates.”

Boan said councils pay a per tonne processing fee for recycling – wine bottles alone make up about nine per cent by weight of a recycling bin, which means the presence of wine and spirit bottles in council yellow bins adds to the cost of providing recycling services.

“We know our community cares about sustainability by the way they threw their support behind plans to build the Central Adelaide Waste and Recycling Facility, which aims to restore confidence in kerbside collections by recycling more materials here in SA,” Boan said.

“The community supports an expanded deposit scheme – we know it’s by far the most effective method of recovering and recycling high value materials.

“The ultimate goal for our waste system is to be part of a circular economy, where materials are recovered and reused, and circulate through the economy again and again.

“Glass is valuable if it can be recovered in a clean and unbroken state, and in SA we have the advantages of local glass remanufacturers and a strong wine industry to support high recycling rates.

“While council yellow bins are fantastic for recycling paper, cardboard and plastic, if glass breaks in waste collection trucks, it loses its value and contaminates other materials.”

The State Government’s Discussion Paper Improving South Australia’s Recycling Makes Cents estimates an expanded container deposit scheme could save councils and ratepayers across the state up to $34 million a year.

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