News State Victoria Vic container-deposit scheme looks like it’s in the can

Vic container-deposit scheme looks like it’s in the can

Victoria is to introduce a container deposit scheme. Photo: Getty
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Victoria is reportedly set to get a container deposit scheme, after being the only state or territory in Australia without such a recycling program or plans to introduce one.

The scheme gives people the chance to receive cash when they recycle cans and bottles at drop-off points, typically 10 cents per item.

The Andrews government is planning to announce a scheme within the month which would be operational from 2023, Nine newspapers reported on Sunday.

A government spokeswoman told AAP there would be no announcement on the issue on Sunday, but stressed it was focused on reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

“The Andrews Labor government is developing a comprehensive circular economy policy that will deliver better environmental, social and economic results, as it will maximise the reuse of materials and reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill,” they said.

A container deposit scheme will kick off in Western Australia in June, while Tasmania has committed to one by 2022.

Landfills pack the earth with pollutants and when they burn, like this site at Somerton, Victoria, in 2015, toxic smoke defiles the air. Photo: ABC

The announcement of a Victorian scheme would come after a tumultuous time in the state’s recycling industry.

It was thrown into chaos last year when the state’s environmental watchdog ordered the largest processor SKM to stop accepting waste, due to safety concerns about stockpiles and fire risk.

The change meant a swag of Victorian councils had to send recycling straight to landfill.

Cleanaway in October reached a deal for the stricken SKM group’s properties, plant, equipment and other assets, after the company went into administration in August.

A parliamentary inquiry in November recommended the Victorian government introduce a container deposit scheme, along with improving kerbside recycling services.

The Greens say such a scheme would be an important first step towards solving the state’s waste crisis but don’t want the government to wait years to introduce it.

“There’s no need to wait until 2023 to start this. The Greens have legislation before parliament right now that the Andrews Government could pass right away,” Victorian Greens MP Ellen Sandell said on Sunday.