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Mar 14, 2011

Greater Dandenong Weekly

Support for cans, bottles deposit

GREATER Dandenong Environment Group and a councillor have thrown their support behind a revised plan to introduce a 10 cents returnable deposit on disposable bottles and cans.

Two years ago legislation was passed in the upper house but blocked in the lower house. Greens MP Colleen Hartland will now introduce a fine-tuned version later this year.

If passed, it will involve manufacturers and importers of disposable bottles and cans paying 10 cents into an Environment Protection Authority fund. People would be able to collect their 10 cents returns via reverse vending machines.

Greater Dandenong Environment Group president Ian Kitchen said he had lobbied for a returnable deposit scheme in the past.

"If you've ever done a Clean Up Australia Day you'd see [how much it's needed]. This way, they end up being recycled instead."

Greater Dandenong councillor Peter Brown said Victoria needed to move forward with its recycling systems - "we've gone backwards in terms of recycling".

Clean Up Australia's chairman and founder Ian Kiernan said 86 per cent of Australians wanted a returnable deposit scheme and it had worked in South Australia for 30 years. "It's a system that has proven to work and work well."

A 2009 report into the impacts of container deposit legislation on Victorian local government states Greater Dandenong Council would gain about $500,000 a year if a returnable deposit scheme was introduced.

This would come from deposits left in recycle bins, as well as decreased landfill fees and lower gate fees at recycling plants due to there being less bottles and cans.

Victoria's recycling rate is 49 per cent, but the Greens hope to raise that to 87 per cent through their bill.


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