TOMRA Cleanaway has released a statement spruiking the benefits of the NSW container deposit scheme (CDS). This comes on the back of a recent article in Inside Waste where VicRecycle director Jeff Mcguire criticised the Victorian government for stating that its preferred model is the one currently used in NSW.
The issue with the NSW scheme, according to Mcguire, is that more money will go into the pockets of companies like TOMRA-Cleanaway. He claims that under the NSW scheme, community organisations and charities receive around half the benefit compared to those in QLD, SA and WA, which utilise a community model. This is because TOMRA Cleanaway take a handling fee.
“Under the NSW scheme, community organisations, small businesses and charities forfeit a large part of their container handling fees to TOMRA-Cleanaway to take part as Refund Point Operators,” said McGuire. “This doesn’t occur in the Community (Producer Responsibility) Schemes operating in QLD, SA & WA. What this means is that hundreds of community organisations, charities and sporting clubs taking part as Refund Point Operators in WA, QLD and SA gain 6.5 cents per container collected. In NSW, it’s 3.5-4.5 cents, with the remainder being retained by TOMRA Cleanaway, the NSW Government’s monopoly network operator.”
In a statement released last week, TOMRA Cleanaway CEO James Dorney, said the scheme continues to provide strong economic benefits to the community.
“Not only is the scheme putting money in the pockets of the people of NSW, thousands of community groups, charities and schools are also sharing in the benefits with over $18.2 million returned via donations and fees from hosting return points,” he said. “The scheme directly employs over 700 people across the state and provides opportunities for social enterprises such as Vinnies, Hoxton Industries and Citizen Blue to also raise funds as return point operators in our customer-focused and convenient network.”
A spokesperson for the NSW/ACT coordinator Exchange for Change, agrees that the scheme is working well.
“The…scheme…has been an outstanding success since commencing in December 2017, with more than 5 billion containers returned for recycling through its network of more than 620 return points, and over $500 million in refunds returned to the NSW community,” she said. “Return and Earn has successfully changed people’s behaviour and attitudes to litter and waste, with 3 in 4 NSW residents having participated, and 69 per cent of residents stating Return and Earn increases the amount of recycling they do.”
She also pointed out that the scheme coordinator and network operator for the NSW scheme were chosen following a competitive tender process, which revealed what the market was able to provide and the proposed costs. The chosen contractors were determined to have the best value solution for NSW.
“Return and Earn welcomes the news that Victoria will soon launch its own container deposit scheme, resulting in all Australians having access to the many benefits of a successful container deposit scheme,” the spokesperson said.