NSW Illegal Dumping Strategy updated

The NSW Government has committed $65 million and updated the NSW Illegal Dumping Strategy to clamp down on illegal littering.

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton announced the changes, saying they would help make NSW a cleaner state by 2021.

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“The NSW Illegal Dumping Strategy tackles a serious environmental and health issue,” Ms Upton said.

“It is backed by ambitious targets and a significant financial commitment to cut the rate of illegal dumping across the State by nearly a third.”

The NSW Illegal Dumping Strategy outline key actions to stop illegal dumping. It discusses the value of education, collaborative partnerships, enforcement and infrastructure.

NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will deliver the updated strategy by partnering with public land managers, local government, charities and community groups.

Funding has gone towards certain initiatives, with $9 million for regional illegal dumping squads to help prevent and clean up dumped rubbish, $3 million for the Clean-up and prevention program that helps land managers and community groups, and $1 million to the Aboriginal Land Clean-up and Prevention Program.

RIDonline, the NSW EPA’s illegal dumping database, has been expended to let the community report incidents.

“This Government is committed to a cleaner NSW and this Strategy will help us continue to work to reduce dumping in our community areas and environment,” Ms Upton said.

The strategy can be found here.

First Return and Earn charity partners for CDS NSW

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton has announced the first four Return and Earn donation partners to feature on the state’s reverse vending machines.

It comes as NSW plans to introduce its Container Deposit Scheme on 1 December.

People returning eligible containers will be able to donate their refunds to the Cancer Council, St Vincent de Paul, Surf Life Saving NSW and Planet Ark at reverse vending machines from 1 December.

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“Our first four donation partners make incredible contributions to communities across the state – giving people an option to donate their refunds to these four organisations is a great way to open the scheme,” Ms Upton said.

“Charities, community and sporting groups, schools, and other not-for-profit organisations can also register their interest to become a donation partner under the rotation system.”

Interested groups can visit the Return and Earn website to register their interest to become a donation partner.

To donate a refund to a donation partner people will need to insert an eligible drink container into a reverse vending machine and select the ‘donate’ option and choose a group. Where relevant donations of $2 or more are made, customers will be issued with a receipt to claim a tax deduction.

“Local groups can also fundraise from 1 December by collecting eligible drink containers and returning them for a 10 cent refund at Return and Earn collection points,” Ms Upton said.

People can also choose to receive their refund into a registered PayPal account via the myTOMRA app, or receive a printed retail refund voucher to exchange for cash or an in-store credit at a local retail partner.

Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and have the original label attached to receive the 10 cent refund.

For more information about Return and Earn and how to register to be on a reverse vending machine visit: www.returnandearn.org.au

GPS trackers installed to prevent illegal dumping

Waste and recycling industry to be represented on NWRIC

A 12-month trial to track the movement of vehicles suspected of illegal dumping has been launched by the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) after an investigation last year.

The government said the EPA can track the vehicles’ movements and be aware if they travel near known illegal dumping hotspots.

The GPS trackers were fitted to the vehicles with the owners’ knowledge. It is illegal for the trackers to be tampered with or removed.

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the government is serious about cracking down on illegal dumpers.

“The trial results show the trackers fitted to vehicles has deterred illegal activity,” Ms Upton said.

“It won’t just deter those being watched but others who think they can get away with dumping on our communities and environment.”

The State Government said the trial will assist one of the premier’s priorities to reduce the volume of litter in NSW by 40 per cent by 2020.

Once the trial is complete, the government said the EPA will consider using tracking devices to monitor other vehicles accused of transporting or dumping waste unlawfully.

In 2014, the government introduced new laws, including the power to install trackers onto vehicles and the ability to seize vehicles used in dumping offences.

The EPA can issue on the spot fines of up to $15,000 for corporations and $7500 for individuals.

You can report illegal dumping incidents by calling the Environment Line on 131 555 or through the RIDonline reporting portal.

NSW container deposit scheme extended

The green aims of container deposit legislation (CDS)

The implementation date for the New South Wales 10 cent container deposit scheme has been extended by five months following requests from environment groups and industry bodies, the NSW Government says.

The government said the container deposit scheme will now be rolled out from 1 December, 2017, in order to “ensure maximum possible state-wide coverage from day one”.

“Clean Up Australia and the Boomerang Alliance, along with industry stakeholders, have asked for an extension of time to make sure the container deposit scheme is a world leading program, from day one,” NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said.

“This will be the biggest initiative to tackle litter in the state’s history – stakeholder feedback is vital to get the scheme right.”

The 2015-2016 National Litter Index found that 49 per cent of litter by volume was made up of beverage containers – and 43 per cent of the total volume was containers that will be caught by the NSW container deposit scheme.

Boomerang Alliance Director Jeff Angel said the Alliance fought hard for the container deposit scheme and wanted to ensure it would work efficiently for the community and business to maximise the environmental benefits.

“The Alliance understood that getting the container deposit scheme up and running was a very complicated process. It’s better to delay the implementation by a few months, so the scheme is ready from day one,” Mr Angel said.

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.

The container deposit scheme will give people a financial incentive to do the right thing and recycle drink containers to significantly reduce the estimated 160 million drink containers littered every year.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council Director of Economics and Sustainability Tanya Barden said the beverage industry supported an efficient and effective container deposit scheme in NSW.

“We’re pleased that the NSW Government has listened to industry’s and environmental groups’ views about the complexity of introducing such a scheme. This extension allows the time to put the fundamentals in place so that the scheme can operate smoothly for both consumers and industry,” Ms Barden said.