A WODONGA councillor will fight for 10-cent deposits on cans and bottles in Victoria if her community wants them.
Kat Bennett was commenting in light of her council’s draft waste management policy backing Victoria not having container deposits.
The draft, which is open for public feedback until February 22, states further work is needed on the matter but council policy is in lockstep with the state government.
“The current Victorian state waste policy does not support a container deposit scheme; instead it supports free public place recycling,” the draft reads.
“As a member of the state-funded regional waste group, the status quo is currently supported.”
Cr Bennett said of a container refund scheme: “If I hear from people saying we want to explore that I will push that point of view.”
Boomerang Alliance campaigner Annett Finger, who toured Victoria last year with a big bottle to seek the adoption of a 10-cent return, was disappointed at Wodonga Council’s stance.
“One state having it and another not having it causes an upheaval,” Dr Finger said, referring to NSW’s adoption of container deposits.
“I would have thought Wodonga Council would be in favour of this and push for it.”
Dr Finger said three Melbourne councils had written to the Victorian Environment Minister in the past year calling for container refunds.
“It’s up to local councils to increase pressure on the Victorian government to implement the container deposit scheme,” she said.
The draft policy suggests a scheme could “increase the cost to local government as household recycling bins will not have the higher value containers such as aluminum cans”.
Dr Finger said that assumed councils did not benefit from containers in municipal bins and those left in household bins.
“That’s a potential windfall and removing glass can mean less shards through shattering, which is a real problem with paper processing because it decreases the value of the paper,” she said.
Meanwhile, Cr Bennett stressed the value of Junction Place drink stations, with data stating they had saved 1365 bottles from landfill.