Numbers don’t add up on recycle plan

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
Wilson Brewery’s Matt and Josh Wilson.
Camera IconWilson Brewery’s Matt and Josh Wilson. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

Albany’s most prominent brewery has raised concerns about the State Government’s Cans for Change container deposit scheme.

According to the State Government, the scheme is expected to reduce the number of littered containers by 706 million and increase the number of recycled containers by 6.6 billion over 20 years.

Without taking into consideration an increased rate of consumption Statewide, WA will — by scheme co-ordinator WA Return Recycle Renew Limited’s own estimates — use 26 billion eligible containers over the same period.

The maths of the scheme has left Wilson Brewery Co. owner Matt Wilson with questions about the initiative.

Mr Wilson said consumers would be left 12.3¢ out-of-pocket for every can they bought, or about $3 worse off for a 24-can carton.

Ten cents would go towards covering the refund cheques provided at deposit sites, with the remaining 2.3¢ going towards administrative costs, he said.

“We have to pay 12.3¢ per can, regardless of whether that can gets recycled,” he said. “If we put out 1000 cans and only one turns up at the recycling depot, we’ve paid for 999 cans that haven’t been recycled.

What happens to that extra money that the Government receives?”

Mr Wilson also questioned WA and Australia’s capacity to recycle the cans effectively.

He said a lot of Australia’s recycled can materials were either stored or sent to landfill after Asian markets stopped buying container waste.

“The Cleanaway facility in Perth burned down in November and that was one-third of the recycle processing for the WA market,” he said.

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