A Charles Darwin University (CDU) researcher has warned that urgent action is needed to minimise the environmental threat posed by thousands of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that will be decommissioned in coming years.
The Northern Territory Government is considering recommendations after an independent review of the state’s container deposit scheme.
The review showed a 30 per cent increase in the number of containers recycled since the scheme commenced in 2012.
Additionally, 83 per cent of review participants considered the scheme successful.
According to Environment Minister Eva Lawler, the scheme generated more than $11 million for community groups, schools and Territorians in 2017-18.
“Protecting our environment creates jobs, and good environmental policy like the container deposit scheme is smart economic policy for the Territory,” Ms. Lawler said.
“We are making the Territory cleaner, increasing our recycling and removing litter from landfill – since 2012 more than half a billion containers have been processed under the container deposit scheme.”
The review highlighted 21 recommendations to improve the scheme, with the state government supporting 17 in full, two in principle and leaving the remaining two subject to further consideration.
Ms. Lawler said recommendations fall into five broad categories, accessibility in regional and remote areas, broadening the scheme to include currently exempt containers such as wine bottles and milk cartons, reducing the regulatory burden on industry, targeted community awareness and improved data collection and regular auditing.
“An implementation plan has been developed which will see the recommendations rolled out in phases over the next two years, which includes consultation with industry and engagement with local government and community organisations through the process,” Ms Lawler said.
More than 75 per cent of Northern Territory residents have said they believe the container deposit scheme (CDS) has been a success, according to a recent survey.
The survey also showed 81 per cent of territorians participate in the CDS because they are environmentally conscious.
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NT’s CDS began in January 2012 and provides a 10 cent refund on beverage containers returned through collection depots.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Director Leonie Cooper said the survey component of the review into the CDS received 714 responses, including 646 from community organisations and members of the public.
“The CDS has delivered many benefits to the Territory community, such as financial boosts to schools and community groups, as well as increased recycling rates and reduced litter in our environment,” Ms Cooper said.
“More than 90 million containers were collected by collection depots last financial year (2016-17) from territorians, the most collected in any 12 month period since the scheme began.
“Collection depots paid out more than $9 million to territorians during this time and this further demonstrates that territorians continue to support the CDS,” she said.
In addition, the survey also collected 68 responses from non-governmental organisations, government employees and the industry, including CDS coordinators, depot operators and supply approval holders.
“Participating in the survey gave territorians an opportunity to contribute to improvements in consumer experience with CDS, and the environmental and community benefits that could come from improving access and operations of the CDS,” Ms Cooper said.
“I thank everyone who participated in the survey and provided valuable suggestions on how the CDS can be improved. These suggestions are currently being considered by the independent CDS review team, with the final review report due for release in August,” she said.
Ms Cooper said CDS infrastructure grants have provided businesses and organisations with one-off funding to improve public access across the NT.
The Northern Territory Government has announced they will be rolling out 90 green waste skip bins across Darwin suburbs that were hardest hit by Cyclone Marcus.
The move is a joint effort between the City of Darwin and the NT Government to remove accumulated green waste and reduce traffic into Shoal Bay.
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NT Treasurer Nicole Manison said the NT Government will fund the bin to assist
“Skip bins are being placed on verges and roadsides to assist residents with the disposal of green waste this weekend,” she said.
“The green waste skip bins will be removed Monday morning, so we urge residents to dispose of their green waste this weekend.”
NT Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said Territorians should only fill the bins to the top line of the skip.
“Contractors will be collecting the bins once full and returning them if necessary on Saturday. If you see a full bin call the number on the side of the bin,” he said.