MONASH residents’ bottles and cans could be turned into cash if the Greens’ 10-cent refund scheme makes its way through State Parliament.
Upper house Greens MP Colleen Hartland gave notice last Thursday she would introduce a similar bill to her defeated legislation of 2009.
She already has one big backer, with Clean Up Australia’s chairman and founder Ian Kiernan throwing his support behind the bill, and Waverley MP Michael Gidley has praised the scheme.
“Clean Up Australia is right behind the move – it’s a system that has proven to work and work well,” Mr Kiernan said. “South Australia, which has a similar legislation, has an 87 per cent recovery rate on their recyclable rubbish. The rest of Australia is at 35 per cent.”
Mr Gidley said: “We’ll get the environmental benefits and the ability to support our local community groups.
“We’re certainly supportive of a cash for cans scheme and if it comes before Parliament we’ll look at it.”
Monash mayor Greg Male said the council had yet to decide whether it would support the scheme, adding that Monash was already the best municipality in the state when it came to recycling.
Scouts Victoria is one group poised to benefit from the scheme and chairman of the branch executive committee Tom Hartley said it was something the Scouts had looked at in the past.
“We’ve already identified it as a way of doing two things: cleaning up the environment and raising money to help train the kids,” he said.
“It’s a no-brainer really, we’d support anything along those lines.”
A spokeswoman from Ms Hartland’s office said the scheme would be funded entirely by people who did not recycle containers properly.
She said 10 cents from each container not recycled correctly would pay the handling costs of the scheme – collection centres and recycling fees.
The scheme could, however, cost shoppers more.
Under the proposed bill 10 cents would be paid for every container returned, but the
cost of each would go up by 10 cents to compensate.
For a slab of beer, that would mean an extra $2.40 at the till and it would be refunded when the cans are returned.
The bill is expected to come before Parliament in the first half of this year.