"I don’t think it’s just Goulburn, I think it’s everywhere"

CEO and Managing Director of Cleanaway, Vik Bansal congratualtes the state government on the Return and Earn scheme.
CEO and Managing Director of Cleanaway, Vik Bansal congratualtes the state government on the Return and Earn scheme.

Calls for greater scrutiny of the state government’s Return and Earn scheme come as president of Endeavour Industries Goulburn Geoff Kettle says “more homework” could have been done leading up to the rollout.

The joint TOMRA-Cleanaway scheme, which allows users to recycle glass and bottles in 320 locations across the state, came to Goulburn in early December.

Endeavour Industries executive staff told The Goulburn Post the company was in discussions with national recycler, Cleanaway in an effort to become a local recycler in the scheme but had not been successful and was not notified why.

A spokeswoman for Cleanaway said the company, which is responsible for providing logistical solutions to the network, had experienced “issues in communication during the early stages of the discussion.”

“TOMRA-Cleanaway has been working closely with many local organisations who play roles in the scheme.  Many participate as Over the Counter collection point operators, and others operate larger automated depots,” she said.

The spokeswoman was unable to specify the number of local recyclers involved in the TOMRA-Cleanaway rollout before publication.

Recyclables from Goulburn are transported to the Hume Materials Recovery Facility on Sawmill Circuit in the ACT which is operated by ReGroup.

The Lederer Group, which owns Marketplace, was contacted about two months before the roll-out as a desired site for the machines. Materials are only transported when machines reach 80-90 per cent capacity. 

The Cleanaway spokeswoman said the collection schedules are still being ”fine tuned” with data expected to be collected soon.

“The Return and Earn has some serious flaws. I will be writing to the State member outlining our concerns and shortcomings of the system. I don’t think it’s just Goulburn, I think it’s everywhere. To me, the winners out of this are the corporates, ” Mr Kettle said.

“Please respect that once containers go into Endeavour Sinclair Street (facility) it is Endeavour’s property. Taking from our bins is stealing.”

Mr Kettle said the new machines could even affect future contracts.

He encouraged residents to nominate Endeavour Industries as a charity when using the service.

In a statement following the announcement of the scheme, CEO and managing director of Cleanaway, Vik Bansal said the NSW government should be “applauded in developing and bringing to fruition a world class container deposit scheme.”

“With TOMRA we remain keen to work with other states of Australia that are currently considering the implementation of similar schemes,” Mr Bansal said.

“[This] is an excellent illustration of how governments can work with industry to implement policies that drive behaviour change and environmental benefits for generations to come.”

The tender process for this contract is not publicly available. 

Residents can report collection point concerns or issues to Return and Earn on 1800 290 691.