Return and Earn scheme a problem for us all, not only the minority.

It is hard to knock on the state government’s Return and Earn scheme.

The recycling machines, which were erected two months ago, allow users to recycle bottles and glass for 10 cents per pop.

Children to adults are able to have a more active role in their recycling, and in the long term, one would hope be more conscious of recycling thanks to the scheme.

However, the more one thinks about the scheme, the more one questions its viability in a regional setting such as Goulburn.

The scheme was announced state-wide to which Goulburn was not included, then, within a few weeks there were two machines in the Marketplace car park.

Residents were surprised but happy, using the facility regularly.

But the line of residents behind the machines on at Marketplace were unimpressed at the lack of consultation.

Citing noise pollution, the residents have had to deal with trucks depositing the rubbish in large metal containers almost twice a day.

Local recycler Endeavour Industries, which was in discussion with Cleanaway before the roll-out, missed an opportunity to become involved in the scheme and has yet to receive a call from the company as to why.

People are breaking into their Sinclair Street site and stealing glass and bottles to use in the machine.

The scheme clearly makes provisions for local recyclers, but we are yet to hear a definitive reason as to why Endeavour Industries was not chosen.

Many took to social media to criticise the Goulburn Post’s coverage of the Return and Earn scheme. One man wrote “these idiots need to get over it and look at the benefit to the environment and the individuals earning some extra money through recycling.”

There is no denying this region cares about the environment; look at the wind and solar farms scattered across the district.

But we cannot ignore there are more than teething problems to this roll out. This all could have been avoided with targeted transparency and consultation.

It is the better initiatives in this country that appear to be on a tighter deadline - as speed rarely equates to accomplishment. 

We hope this is resolved soon, as there is much to be said about expanding Australia’s recycling system.

But it is unfair to say that in a town of this size that the problem of select parties don’t affect us in one way or another. 


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