Thursday, March 15, 2012

council confirms support for container deposit scheme

report from the roundtable - 13 mar

At this week's council meeting I moved a motion to support a national Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) by way of a council submission to the current consultation process underway. It was terrific to get the unanimous support of councillors.

The motion was in response to a letter we'd received from the Australian Local Government Association highlighting an opportunity to submit to the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement on Packaging as a result of work done by the COAG Standing Council on Environment and Water.

In speaking to the motion I talked about the recent Clean Up Australia Day where once again drink containers featured heavily, it was reported to me that 60% of rubbish collected locally was drink containers.

Yarra Ranges has had a long history of supporting the introduction of a Container Deposit Scheme.
- On 12 February, 2008, Yarra Ranges resolved to support a CDS.
- In July 2008 I presented to the Inquiry into the Management of Australia's Waste Streams held by the Senate Standing Committee on Environment outlining council's support for a CDS following our written submission to the process.
- On the 8th March, 2011 council reaffirmed its support for CDS by writing to both the Federal and State governments encouraging the introduction of a CDS.
- In June, 2011, member councils of the MAV supported the introduction of CDS for Victoria based on a motion put forward by Yarra Ranges.
- In October 2011 Yarra Ranges provided a submission supporting the Environment Protection Amendment (Beverage Container Deposit and Recovery Scheme) Bill 2011.
- In November 2011 I presented to the Standing Committee on Environment and Planning Legislation Committee, subcommittee on the Environment Protection Amendment (Beverage Container Deposit and Recovery Scheme) Bill 2011.

The motion I was seeking support for was consistent with council's past resolutions on the issue. I talked about the South Australia experience, the fact that the scouts there earn $9million per annum from their CDS, the fact that the recovery rates in SA are much higher than Victoria. I even mentioned that if a small nation like Kiribati can do CDS then surely we can manage as a nation to introduce a CDS.

There are significant benefits to council, particularly in relation to reducing costs in cleaning out street drainage pits, gross pollutant traps and public bins. There'd be savings on kerbisde recycling due to the increased value of containers that remain in the bins. There's enormous potential for community fund raising as well as income for individuals. A CDS would see a greater incentive for recycling by the hospitality industry and at events and festivals. Material would be diverted from landfill and there's the environmental benefits of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and reduced water consumption.

It is important the Yarra Ranges Council continues to have a voice in these matters on behalf of our community. I'm pleased to say councillors supported the motion unanimously.

Don't forget you can also submit to the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement on Packaging, if you want to learn more click here, submissions close 30 March, 2012.

The motion:
1. A submission be made to the COAG Standing Council on Environment and Water commenting on the Packaging Impacts Consultation Regulation Impact Statement.
2. The submission highlight the benefits to Yarra Ranges Council of a Container Deposit Scheme to reduce waste to landfill and the associated costs to Council.

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