Challenge gain major boon from Container Deposit Scheme

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Challenge Community Services are set to be big winners from the State Government’s controversial Container Deposit Scheme.

Challenge runs the recycling plant in Tamworth and will earn 10c from every bottle and can collected in the weekly kerbside recycling collection when the scheme starts on December 1.

CEO Barry Murphy said that based on last year’s figures that would be $600,000, although with the public also able to collect 10c per container that figure will be certainly reduced.

“It is a huge boon for us,” Mr Murphy said.

“South Australia have been doing this for 20 years and the picture I got from there was that we might see a 40 per cent reduction on last year’s figures.” 

Challenge also run recycling plants in Moree, Narrabri and Gwydir which are also expecting major financial gains.

“Part of that will go back into the running of the services, but we also want to do something else for the community,” Mr Murphy said.

“It is too early to make any announcements, but we are hoping to create a great community asset.” 

While Mr Murphy was disappointed to miss out on the manual counting stations and other contracts that major contractor Cleanaway Torma were sub-contracting out around the state, he does believe they “got the best slice of the cake”.

“We already have two contracts with Cleanaway and when we approached them months ago they said they weren’t interested,” Mr Murphy said.

“It would have been more local jobs for people with disabilities. The contracts went to two other charities, which is (still) great.”

Recently Cleanaway came back to Challenge with an offer to take all containers coming out of the public collection points in the region for a set processing fee. That offer was declined.

Meanwhile, Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe has lashed out at Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton’s “completely botched roll-out” after it was revealed that fewer than half the promised collection points will be operational by the start of the scheme, on Friday.

Tamworth is one of several major regional hubs without a single collection point, despite the cost of drink containers already being passed on to consumers from November 1.

“Minister Upton had one job – she has failed miserably,” Ms Sharpe said.

“Ms Upton promised there would be 800 reverse vending machines across 500 collection points. Today’s figures show there is just 45 reverse vending machines across 237 collection points, with no timetable for the rest. Regional communities are paying more for every drink but have nowhere to get their refund.”

Article from the Northern Daily Leader, 29 November 2017.

Author: Challenge Community Services

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About Challenge Community Services

Over 60 years ago we were a small band of parents and friends seeking support services for our children with disability. Today, Challenge has grown to be one of the largest community support services in New South Wales. We provide support to over 2500 people from Albury to Lismore, Sydney, Dubbo, Tamworth and beyond. With over 880 staff, 95 of which have a disability, we strive to comply with and exceed all standards required under State and Federal Acts.
In the spirit of Reconciliation, Challenge Community Services acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country, and their connection to land, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures and customs, and to Elders both past and present.
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