Concerns container deposit scheme isn’t ready for rollout

Labor MP Daniel Mookhey is concerned far western NSW residents have been forgotten in regards to the new container deposit scheme (CDS).

Mr Mookhey said to date, no collection points have been announced for the far west and only two collection points have been announced in western NSW – Wellington and Cowra.

The scheme is set to begin this Friday.

Cobar Shire Council’s manager of planning and environment, Stephen Poulter, said council is left very much “in the dark” about how the CDS was going to work.

Mr Poulter said council had received some information from NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Cleanaway and NetWaste, however he said the information had only been the media releases that have been given to media outlets and major supermarkets.

“The information that we have received from NSW EPA over the last few years about the CDS has been limited and conflicting,” he said.

“Other councils throughout NSW are experiencing the same concerns.

“I have contacted Cleanaway and NSW EPA on a number of occasions over the last few months chasing information, as it is incredibly disappointing with the lack of useful info that we can disperse to our community.

“With regards to locations of drop-off recycling points, we have been advised that we could be receiving two reverse recycling machines and a manual drop-off point for bulk containers (Cobar only – not villages), however we have not received any confirmation of these numbers or locations.

“We have advised Cleanaway some months ago with preferred locations, which we have not received a response to,” he said.

With only 85 per cent of the sites in the western region required to be up and running by the beginning of December, Mr Poulter said it is likely that Cobar could be the unlucky area to have to wait until January for its sites.

Mr Mookhey has done an analysis of how many cans or bottles western NSW residents will need to cash in to recover the cost of travel under the new CDS.

He estimates Cobar residents will need to return at lease 7,709 cans or bottles to recoup the cost of travel to their nearest collection point in Wellington.

He said Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton had turned a positive idea into “a complete farce”.

“Western NSW just wants to know – where can I take my cans and bottles for a refund?

“My challenge to residents of the west is come up with a business plan that will make this scheme worth it,” Mr Mookhey said.

“I would start by investing in a trailer.”