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Review of Northern Territory CDS gives recommendations to further build on its success

The Northern Territory government is developing a plan to improve its Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in order to enhance data collection and to make it more accessible to regional communities.

While successful, the government is taking steps to increase engagement and awareness of the CDS further.

A review of the CDS showed an increase in the number of containers recycled by more than 30 per cent since the scheme’s commencement in 2012.

It also showed that 83 per cent of people who participated in the review, considered the scheme successful.

Although the scheme is working well, the review highlighted 21 recommendations to improve the scheme.

Of the 21 recommendations made in the report (Evaluation of the Operation of the Northern Territory Container Deposit Scheme), the Northern Territory government will support 17 in full, two in principle and two others will be subject to further consideration.

The recommendations fall into five broad categories:

  • Accessibility to the scheme in regional and remote areas;
  • Broadening the scheme to include currently exempt containers (e.g. wine bottles and milk cartons);
  • Reducing the administrative and regulatory burden on industry, businesses and the regulator;
  • Improved and targeted community awareness and engagement to ensure the continued success of the scheme;
  • Improved data collection, analysis and reporting; and
  • A need to carry out regular auditing and compliance activities to ensure the scheme is not compromised.

An implementation plan has been developed and the recommendations will be rolled out in phases over the next two years. It includes consultation with industry, and engagement with local government and community organisations through the process.

Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Eva Lawler, said the scheme it a great way for Territorians, community groups, sporting groups and schools to raise money – while protecting the environment.

“In 2017-18, our scheme put more than $11 million into the pockets of community groups, schools and Territorians.

“We are making the Territory cleaner, increasing our recycling, removes litter from landfill – Since 2012 more than half a billion containers have been processed under the CDS,” Lawler said.

Envirobank founder and managing director, Narelle Anderson, said Envirobank has been a network operator for the Northern Territory’s CDS since its inception in 2012.

“Over that time we have continuously seen volumes increase through our depots. Last fiscal year we processed more than 50 million containers in our Darwin depot alone. When you consider the population of the region, this is a phenomenal effort and we applaud all Territorians for getting involved and protecting the environment.”