Container Recycling Plan for Sydney

Container recycling may soon get a boost in Sydney

The City of Sydney is calling for a container deposit scheme to significantly increase recycling, reduce waste and protect wildlife and the environment from beverage container pollution.

In a submission to the NSW Government’s discussion paper, the City calls for a scheme that offers a financial reward in return for empty beverage containers.

Container deposit schemes have proven very effective in other States in increasing recycling rates and reducing litter.

“Container deposit schemes have been embraced by the public and have produced impressive recycling rates across Australia and globally. It’s time NSW got on board by providing more options and incentives for people to recycle,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

South Australia’s scheme has achieved significant recycling rates, nearly double the rate of NSW. The idea has also taken off well in the Northern Territory.

Four trial reverse vending machines have already been installed across Sydney.

The machines at Haymarket, Circular Quay, Redfern and Wynyard offer small rewards such as a donation to charity and food truck vouchers in return for empty drink containers and help keep the city and harbour free from discarded plastic bottles and aluminium cans.

The National Litter Index states that drink containers account for some 44% of all public place litter.

The reverse vending machines had been highly effective in encouraging a change in community behaviour with nearly 2,000 kilograms of cans and bottles recycled since the machines were installed less than two years ago.

“It’s encouraging that so many Sydneysiders have embraced recycling and are doing the right thing by the environment. By using these reverse vending machines, they have saved 139,000 containers from landfill and helped turn rubbish into a valuable resource, ” the Lord Mayor said.