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Byron Shire
November 27, 2022

Container deposit systems a win for communities

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Container deposit legislation could dramatically reduce councils’ recycling costs.
Photo Nachetz/Flickr

A newly released independent study into Container Deposits Systems (CDS) has revealed that CDS will financially, socially and environmentally benefit councils and their local communities.

The study, entitled The impacts (cost/benefits) of the introduction of a container deposit/refund system (CDS) on kerbside recycling and councils, found that:

· Council kerbside recycling service costs would be reduced by 19–47 per cent under a CDS.

· NSW councils could save $23 to $62 million annually on recycling costs.

· Councils across Australia could save $69 to $183 million annually.

· Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) would also benefit financially under a CDS (with revenues increased by up to 31 per cent).

· Recycling is likely to result in a payment as opposed to a charge to councils at the MRF gate.

· There would be significant benefits to recycling in regional/rural/remote locations, where kerbside systems are not practicable or efficient.

· Councils would experience significantly reduced litter collection costs, and reduced environmental education costs.

President of the Shires Association of NSW, Cr Ray Donald, believes this is a timely and important study with many positive findings for those with a long-held interest in CDS.

‘The figures in this report are clear; CDS equals a triple bottom line of benefits for our communities in terms of the financial, social and environmental benefits,’ said Cr Donald.

‘For many years, it has been asserted by a variety of other stakeholders that CDS would jeopardise the viability of kerbside recycling. This study objectively and rigorously tested these unsubstantiated claims, and puts the matter to rest – once and for all.

‘We’ve long felt that CDS would greatly benefit rural and regional councils, where recycling can be a costly and sometimes impractical venture. The study reveals that assigning the ten cents deposit and refund will finally make recycling viable for non-metropolitan councils.’

President of the Local Government Association, Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM, agrees, stating that there is no downside to CDS for councils and their local communities.

‘We now have some strong evidence that CDS will benefit councils and their local communities from a financial, social and environmental perspective. This study puts an end to the many longstanding, unsupported assertions about CDS from other stakeholders,’ said Cr Rhoades.

‘The study shows that in addition to financial benefits, there are also clear environmental and social benefits to the introduction of CDS, largely resulting from the high return rates and opportunities for community groups to become involved in the recycling of containers.

‘We hope that when the ministers of the Standing Committee on Environment and Water (SCEW) meet on 24 August 2012, that the study’s findings will assist their deliberations and help them to arrive at the right decision for Australia – a national Container Deposit System.’

The study was commissioned by the LGSA and prepared by Mike Ritchie and Associates (MRA). A full copy of the study can be found http://www.lgsa.org.au/key-initiatives/container-deposits.


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