Community to suffer from ‘inequitable’ recycling scheme, development corporation says

LUCKED OUT: Harden will miss out of the state government's recycling initiative but still bear the costs of hiked drink prices.
LUCKED OUT: Harden will miss out of the state government's recycling initiative but still bear the costs of hiked drink prices.

Harden’s ability to develop a sustainable future will be compromised by the absence of a recycling deposit centre, a leading resident says.

It comes as the Berejiklian government attempts to roll out the Container Deposit Scheme, a recycling initiative targeted at reducing statewide waste by 40 per cent by 2020.

The scheme was set to open 85 per cent of deposit centres by December 1, however, a number of Riverina communities including Harden and Murrumburrah have been overlooked.

Co-manager of community and commercial strategy for Harden Regional Development Corporation Annie Jacobs says the state government’s failure to deliver their recycling scheme to the area is “disappointing”.

“It’s not a good situation,” she said.

“People will have to travel to Young or Cootamundra to benefit from this scheme.”

Ms Jacobs said Harden’s ability to work towards a sustainable future was compromised.

“I think it’s limiting for our population,” she said.

“We are trying to create a sustainable environment just like the larger regional centres and we’d like to see equal opportunities for all communities across NSW.”

“At present, it’s not equitable and that’s disappointing.”

Duty MLC for Cootamundra, Mick Veitch MLC, was less than impressed with the government’s rollout.

“Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton had one job: launch a scheme that can help reduce litter and enable consumers to recoup the cost – and she has failed miserably,” Mr Veitch said.

“Everyone will be paying more for every drink, with nowhere convenient to get their refund.

Mr Veitch said Labor continued to be a “strong supporter” of the scheme but said the Minister had “botched” the rollout.

“The public will have to pay the price for this Government’s incompetence,” he said.

“Forcing people in most local towns to travel hundreds of kilometres to get a refund shows how badly this program has been rolled out.”