New vending machines around the City will reward Sydneysiders for depositing empty plastic bottles or cans.
The machines, located at Circular Quay and Haymarket, are a fun and easy way to encourage visitors and locals to do the right thing and dispose of their drink containers responsibly.
Currently 15,000 bottles and cans are littered or thrown into landfill every minute across Australia. People who deposit bottles and cans in the reverse vending machines will not only be keeping the streets and the harbour clean, they will be rewarded with a small gift or charity donation.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said only about 42 per cent of bottles and cans are recycled annually in NSW and the City was working hard to raise that figure through a range of new initiatives.
“These are vending machines with a twist that will encourage Sydneysiders to be even better at recycling plastic bottles and aluminium cans,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The machines offer a small reward for people who make the effort to recycle. We’re trialling these reverse vending machine and I hope this new idea will capture the attention of our residents and visitors.”
The City’s reverse vending machines will be located on Dixon Street Mall, Haymarket and Alfred St and Circular Quay, and can hold up to 2,000 containers each before they need to be emptied. Prizes offered by the machines during the trial include entry into a draw for two tickets to Sydney New Year’s Eve Dawes Point viewing area, two-for-one food truck vouchers or a 10 cent donation to charity.
Clean-Up Australia figures show beverage containers account for over one third of all reported rubbish in NSW. There are around 40,000 injuries from broken glass bottles in Australia a year and 5,000 of these injuries require medical treatment.
The City is calling for the introduction of a national container deposit scheme as a long-term, sustainable solution to the problem. Around the world container deposit schemes have produced record recycling results. South Australia’s scheme has achieved recycling rates of up to 90 per cent – double the rate of NSW.
“Container deposit schemes significantly increase recycling, reduce waste and protect wildlife and the environment from plastic pollution,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We’re taking what action we can to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, but will continue to lobby state and federal governments for reform on this issue.”
Clean-Up Australia founder and Chairman, Ian Kiernan AO, is committed to action in the war against rubbish, working with the community, government and business to provide practical solutions for more sustainable lifestyles.
“In 2013 beverage containers and their associated rubbish made up 41 per cent of the total rubbish and 59 per cent of the top ten rubbish items reported by volunteers in NSW. This was an increase of 3 per cent over 2012,” Mr Kiernan said.
“This is a serious problem. We need better ways to capture these containers, turning them from rubbish into a resource. The cleanest and most accessible solution we have seen is the reverse vending model.
“I applaud our Lord Mayor and her team from the City of Sydney for taking leadership by trialling this initiative and urge Sydneysiders and tourists to show their support by returning beverage containers via these machines.”
In addition to the new reverse vending machine trial, the City is implementing a range of innovative recycling initiatives, including recycling stations for batteries, light bulbs and mobile phones at libraries and service centres.
For more information go to: cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/live/waste-and-recycling/clean-streets/envirobank-reverse-vending-machines
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