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Time ticking as container deadline looms

By Claire Ottaviano

THE Shire of Mundaring has just over two months to prepare and approve a business case to operate two Container Deposit Scheme refund points before the program’s start date.

The rush to meet the June 2 deadline comes after the East Metropolitan Regional Council’s (EMRC) February 6 decision to back out of the State Government’s Containers for Change 10c refund program.

The EMRC withdrawal left open two potential refund collection sites in the Shire at the Coppin Road and Mathieson Road waste facilities.

With only a short time remaining before the program’s commencement, Mundaring Council gave its support on Tuesday night for the Shire to try to pick up the missing pieces abandoned by the EMRC.

Staff will now prepare a business case for Council’s approval at the April meeting.

Councillors made their support for the scheme, and the Shire’s participation in it, clear.

“The timeframe for this is extremely short so we need to assist administration wherever possible,” Cr Ian Green said.

“Obviously we should all support this because otherwise the timeframe will get out of control and we won’t be able do anything.

“This should be supported by Council to aid admin in proceeding with this business.”

If Council decides not to proceed at the April meeting, scheme coordinator Western Australia Return Recycle Renew Limited (WARRRL) will have to find another party or parties to run the collection points.

Under their obligations to the WA Government scheme, WARRRL needs one collection point per 15,000 people.

Council’s support for a business case was unanimous.

“It was really disappointing the EMRC didn’t see it as a great opportunity to work with the community and deliver great outcomes for everyone,” Cr Kate Driver said.

“I’m really pleased to see the Shire stepping up to try and find ways to address that gap.”

Cr Darrell Jones also noted his support but expressed a desire to contain Council’s excitement before full costings were outlined by staff in the business case.

Equipment and construction costs to ensure facilities open by June 2 are expected to cost about $310,000.

This amount is not listed in the 2019/20 annual budget.

Under a contract with WARRRL the Shire is estimated to profit between $114,000 and $2.6 million over five years, depending on local participation.

WARRRL confirmed it has contracted three organisations for refund points in the eastern region, Greenbatch Foundation in High Wycombe, Containers for Change, Midland and the Ability Centre, Bellevue.

The exact locations of these will be made public on the WARRRL website early May.

More locations and successful operators will be made public as contracts are awarded.

The City of Swan listed a Container Deposit Scheme refund point motion in its March agenda, but Echo News understands the item has been pushed back to April.

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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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