16/01/2020 - 16:03

WA to gain 145 container refund points

16/01/2020 - 16:03

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Western Australia’s first refund point operators for the federal government’s container deposit scheme have been chosen, with 145 refund locations made available in the state.

Stephen Dawson says there are over 1.3 billion eligible beverage containers used in WA each year.

Western Australia’s first refund point operators for the federal government’s container deposit scheme have been chosen, with 145 refund locations made available in the state.

Under the Containers for Change scheme, a 10 cent refund will be given for every eligible drink container returned to a designated refund location.

Locations and opening hours will be announced in May, with the scheme to start on June 2.

The number of refund points across the state are expected to grow to at least 172 by June and to 229 by the end of the scheme's first year.

Sixty-five WA entities will operate the sites, with around 40 per cent to be operated by social enterprises including charities, disability sector organisations, Aboriginal corporations and sporting and community groups.

Organisations include Ability Care Australia, Bridging the Gap and Good Samaritan Industries.

Other refund operators include local government areas, such as the City of Perth and Eastern and Southern Metro Regional Councils.

There will be 84 refund points in Perth, 17 in the Kimberley and at least nine in the Pilbara.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the scheme would help reduce litter and improve recycling rates.

“There are more than 1.3 billion eligible beverage containers used in WA each year, and they make up 44 per cent of litter in our parks, streets and waterways,” Mr Dawson said.

WA will be the second Australian state to adopt Containers for Change, with the Queensland government announcing the scheme in 2018.

NSW, ACT and South Australia have separate container deposit schemes in place.

Premier Mark McGowan said adopting the Containers for Change scheme would create more than 500 jobs in WA.

“Refund point operators will provide job opportunities for all Western Australians but particularly for people living with disability and long-term unemployment,” Mr McGowan said.

“Today’s announcement is just the starting point for the Containers for Change network, which will grow significantly in the coming months and years.”

Logistics and processing applicants have also been selected for the state, including waste management companies Cleanaway and Remondis, and glass recycling business Waglass (formerly Colmax).

Western Australia Return Recycle Renew (WARRR) chief executive Tim Cusack said compacting technologies being adopted would also reduce the amount of heavy trucks on the road.

“One truck of compacting material is the equivalent of five trucks of non-compacted material,” Mr Cusack said.

“That’s great news for our environment and commuters.”

Mr Cusack added the scheme would open new revenue streams and fundraising opportunities for schools, local sports clubs, community groups and non-profit organisations.

Containers for Change is predicted to reduce littered containers by 706 million and cut the number of containers sent to landfill by 5.9 million, as well as see an increase in recycled containers by 6.6 billion.

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