Aligning the commencement dates of the NSW and Queensland container deposit schemes will ensure the success of both, say waste and recycling leaders.

This week, Queensland’s Parliament tabled the legislation to establish the State’s Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) via an update to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011. The proposed scheme for Queensland received bipartisan support and is scheduled to start on July 1, 2018.

While Queensland Environment Minister Stephen Miles said – “we will work closely with the Baird Liberal Government of NSW to deliver a CDS in both states” – industry leaders are concerned the earlier start date for the NSW scheme will negatively impact on the Queensland launch.

The NSW CDS has been scheduled to start on December 1, 2017 – just six months after the mechanisms governing the scheme were released. Under the scheme, ‘network operators’ are required to establish hundreds of collection points across seven zones, covering all of NSW.  

In addition to having all of these collection points in place by November for a successful launch of the NSW scheme, industry is also concerned that administrative hurdles, such as development applications and safety procedures, may delay the orderly rollout of the program.

“By delaying the start date of the NSW CDS by only seven months – to July 1, 2018 – both NSW and Queensland can prevent cross border transport of beverage containers and stockpiling issues,” said NWRIC Chairman Phil Richards. “Industry are asking for more time to establish high quality collection points and resolve the outstanding administrative issues associated with the scheme.”

“CDS programs are complex, so it is also important that adequate time is given to network operators to establish collection and administration systems. These systems are needed to reduce disruption and deliver a high quality service to the public.”

“Regulators are already working to harmonise the rules of both the NSW and Queensland container deposit schemes, so it seems natural to harmonise their commencement dates.”

Along with the NSW and Queensland CDS, the NWRIC is also calling for renewed efforts by all the States and Territories to harmonise the regulations covering waste management and recycling.