May 6, 2009
Cowra Council joins call for sustainable recycling
COWRA SHIRE Council has joined the Local Government and Shires Associations and Clean Up Australia in calling for the urgent introduction of beverage Container Deposits.
Ministers of the Environment Protection and Heritage Council will meet on 22 May to consider programs to address packaging waste, and Mayor Bill West believes that it is essential for Cowra’s environmental and financial future that they seriously consider Container Deposit Legislation (CDL).
“The current arrangement relies on the National Packaging Covenant, which is based on councils and their communities carrying the cost of collecting transporting and processing recyclable material,” Cr West said.
“Given today’s economic climate these containers are effectively worthless, which means that each household in this community has to kick in around $50 every year to cover the costs.
“We strongly urge the State Government to introduce a container deposit or refund system, which means that every container is worth 10 cents in the recycling process – effectively paying for itself.
“It is time the producers of these containers took more responsibility for the costs associated with cleaning up the litter they create while they generate their profits, and this system would do that.
“They’re getting a free ride on the back of our community and organisations like Clean Up Australia and this has to stop now.”
Amidst industry-generated claims that CDL would undermine kerbside collections, Cr Westpoints to the fact that CDL and kerbside have co-existed and operated successfully in South Australia since the mid 1970s.
“If CDL really jeopardised kerbside, you can be sure we’d being saying so, loudly,” he said.
Cr Miller, President of the Shire’s Association said that Local Government strongly supports the CDL legislation.
“It’s a cost effective, high return system that has proven itself in Europe, the US and Canada as well as Australia,” he said.
“The CDL system would allow Cowra Council to ensure a comprehensive recycling program, virtually guaranteeing high return rates of 70-85% of well sorted materials.
“This is a big winner over the Covenant, in which only 50% or less of the containers are returned.”
“We hope that on 22 May, Ministers will finally heed the call of Local Government, Community Organisations and the Environment Movement and apply some clear thought to the matter of CDL and introduce it as a matter of urgency.”