Waste industry is a lover not a fighter 

7 February 2019

Today’s ABC story, “Container refund scheme prompts calls for crackdown on ‘bin chickens’ cashing in on recycling’ has brought to light the fact that the NSW scheme is kicking major goals, which the waste and resource recovery industry is fully supportive of.

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) is the national peak body for all stakeholders in the waste and resource recovery industry. We have close to 2,000 members across the nation, representing a broad range of business organisations, the three (3) tiers of government, universities, and NGOs – representing the breadth and depth of our essential industry.

“The waste and resource recovery industry is supportive of container deposit schemes and we were actively involved in the NSW initiative from the beginning, including the design of the scheme. We knew going into this that the initiative’s main goal was to reduce litter and there would be added, invaluable social benefits such as creating legitimate income streams for people who collect and recycle containers,” WMRR CEO Ms Gayle Sloan said.

“The industry will always support programs that drive the recovery of resources, allow the community to benefit from appropriate recycling, increase diversion from landfill, and in this instance, ensure that containers do not end up in our waterways or littering our communities,” Ms Sloan added.

The NSW container refund scheme is a good example of a polluter-pays principle and the industry’s role in this, as waste and resource recovery experts, is to provide the necessary infrastructure for a successful initiative, which it will continue to do.  

“However, a conversation should be had about community’s health and safety and industry is calling on the NSW EPA to work with us to develop educational material to help ‘binners’ work safely and where it’s appropriate to collect containers from. Access to appropriate protective equipment such as a sturdy set of gloves should also be provided to these ‘binners’.”