Vic govt seeks feedback on proposed CDS model

Victorian government seeks input on state's container deposit scheme (CDS).

Victorians are being asked to provide feedback on the proposed model for the state’s container deposit scheme (CDS), which will be rolled out by 2023.

The CDS is a ‘cash for cans’ system where empty cans, small bottles and cartons can be dropped off at collection points for a refund.

Under the proposed model, there would be split responsibility for the operation and governance – this design maximises the number of bottles collected at the lowest cost for scheme delivery, as well as ensuring strong transparency and accountability.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio, said the CDS will reduce waste, provide opportunities for local businesses and community groups and create hundreds of jobs.”

“This is an exciting opportunity for all Victorians to play a role in how our new CDS will work to improve our recycling system, cut waste and reduce litter in our environment.”

The CDS network would include a variety of collection points – such as automated reverse vending machines in public places, drive through depots, over the counter in shops and pop up collection points at events and festivals.

Businesses will also have opportunities to operate collection sites across the state – creating new jobs in transport and logistics and through support services like technology management, community education, auditing and reporting. Similar schemes in New South Wales and Queensland have created between 600 and 700 jobs.

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) the national peak body for the waste and resource recovery industry, said by proposing a split responsibility model, the Victorian government is able to manage the inherent conflict of interest associated with higher return rates leading to increased costs for beverage suppliers.

“Industry applauds the Victorian government for proposing a scheme that is aligned with the government and community objective of delivering the highest quality, most accessible scheme,” said Gayle Sloan, CEO of WMRR.

“Industry acknowledges that there are multiple important players with distinct responsibilities in a best practice CDS, including the beverage industry, who can play a part in the governance arena and ensure equitable distribution of costs across the sector.

“However, to drive accessibility and community engagement, a strong scheme requires a recycling-driven approach to collection points, where that governance body is not conflicted by a primary objective of minimising costs to beverage suppliers.

‘The Victorian government must be congratulated for electing to design its own pathway towards implementation, it is the more challenging route and one that will not be supported by all, however it is the best path to ensure maximum community access, maximum diverse participation and a community focused scheme that delivers for the people of Victoria,” said Sloan.

The introduction of a CDS is part of the Government’s $300 million Recycling Victoria program introducing a new approach to reduce, reuse and recycle our state’s waste.

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