QLD Container Refund Scheme: the facts, myths and challenges
The Queensland Government has passed a bill to introduce a Container Refund Scheme (CRS) and a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags, set to commence on July 1, 2018.
So what does it mean for councils?
There is no doubt a CRS will be a big win for smaller communities. Councils that do not currently offer kerbside recycling collections will now have a scheme to help divert eligible containers away from landfill and achieve greater resource recovery rates.
LGAQ senior advisor for environmental and public health Robert Ferguson said the introduction of a state-wide CRS will also bring a number of challenges for councils.
“Existing council kerbside recycling schemes service almost 90 per cent of the Queensland population, and the rollout of a CRS will undoubtedly impact these much loved, convenient kerbside services,” Mr Ferguson said.
“No one can predict the impact on Queensland councils and it would be fool-hardy to use South Australia as a worthy example of the impacts on Queensland.
“The South Australian scheme was introduced 40 years ago, long before any kerbside recycling collections existed.
“The introduction of a CRS on top of a mature kerbside recycling system is actually unprecedented globally, and that is why we remain nervous.”
NSW will introduce a Container Deposit Scheme on December 1 and will provide Queensland with the first indication of potential impacts on existing kerbside recycling schemes, albeit with significant variances to the proposed Queensland scheme.
The LGAQ is working as an active member of the CRS Ministerial Advisory Group and is responding to a number of ongoing challenges including the planning impacts, treatment of glass, scavenging, waste infrastructure and existing council contractual arrangements.
Multiple local council representatives are working alongside the LGAQ to develop strategies to respond to these concerns and will continue to do so leading up to the implementation of the scheme on July 1, 2018.