The response to Victoria’s proposed CDS model has been strong with the WARR industry united in its support.
Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) CEO Peter Anderson told Inside Waste that the industry welcomed the opportunity to work closely with the Victorian Government to build this new recycling program.
“Drink cans and bottles make up almost half of all the litter in Victoria,” Anderson said.
“A CDS would significantly reduce this litter and help ensure a clean stream of recyclable materials can be re-used in new products instead of going to landfill or polluting the environment and harming our wildlife.
“Further, the waste recycling industry welcomes the opportunity to create a diverse range of collection points, including reverse vending machines, drive through depots, over the counter in shops and pop up collection points at events and festivals.”
He added that the CDS design includes a separate scheme co-ordinator and network operator, ensuring transparency and accountability.
WMMR notes past experience
Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) CEO Gayle Sloan said, “The Victorian government must be congratulated for electing to design its own pathway towards implementation, it is the more challenging route and one that will not be supported by all, however it is the best path to ensure maximum community access, maximum diverse participation and a community focused scheme that delivers for the people of Victoria.”
Sloan noted that experience has shown that the most expensive scheme, from a customer’s perspective, is one in which they cannot easily redeem their container for the refund amount.
By separating responsibilities, WMMR said that Victoria would ensure that network operators are incentivised to maximise container return rates as well as incentivising greater variety and number of collection points, including greater use of technology.
“Industry acknowledges that there are multiple important players with distinct responsibilities in a best practice CDS, including the beverage industry, which can play a part in the governance arena and ensure equitable distribution of costs across the sector.
“However, to drive accessibility and community engagement, a strong scheme requires a recycling-driven approach to collection points, where that governance body is not conflicted by a primary objective of minimising costs to beverage suppliers,” she added.
Tomra endorses split-responsibility
TOMRA/Cleanaway is the joint venture network operator of the NSW CDS Scheme and TOMRA/Cleanaway CEO Dorney told Inside Waste “TOMRA Cleanaway commends the Victorian Government on a diligent and thorough process to date, and supports the future adoption of a split responsibility CDS to successfully deliver against Victorian Government’s stated objectives”
TOMRA Collection Solutions Pacific, president Ryan Buzzell added that by endorsing a split-responsibility model, Minister D’Ambrosio and the Andrews Government have signalled a clear intention to deliver a world-class CDS for the people of Victoria.
“A split responsibility CDS with an independent network operator is a proven way of boosting recycling, reducing litter and creating hundreds of new jobs in the circular economy.
“What’s more, we’ve seen how this scheme design creates tremendous fundraising opportunities for hundreds of charities, community groups and sporting clubs.”
He added that the split responsibility model Victoria has put forward ensures that collection points are designed and managed by an independent network operator (or operators) incentivised to achieve the highest return rates possible, meaning consumers can more easily return their containers for recycling, more material is reprocessed and less litter ends up in landfill or oceans and waterways.
According to Buzzell, a network operator incentivised to service every part of the state, would also bring important jobs to communities right across Victoria and enable fundraising opportunities for sporting clubs, community groups and charities big and small.
TOMRA’s head of business development Markus Fraval said that “The split responsibility design drives high return rates by prioritising convenience for consumers, which is absolutely fundamental.
“A good collection network deploys a variety of complementary types of return point infrastructure to serve different customer types and demographics, including high volume depots and smaller over-the-counter or bag drop refund points.”
“Importantly, the best-performing systems around the world work with retail locations to make recycling part of people’s everyday routine. Placing RVMs in shopping centres or supermarket carparks provides a foundation for these schemes and means that instead of having to make a separate, dedicated trip to an out-of-the-way depot to return your containers, you can simply drop off your empty bottles and cans on your way into the shops.”
“Today’s decision demonstrates that the Victorian Government wants a scheme that makes it easy for all Victorians to return their containers and collect or donate their refund,” he said.