PREMIER Mike Baird's proposed cash for containers recycling scheme has been hailed as a win for a more beautiful Wagga, and the city council has vowed to embrace the scheme as a nail in the coffin of unsightly litter.
The scheme is set to operate in similar vein to the South Australian and Northern Territory schemes, whereby collectors receive a rebate per contributed container. The design of the NSW scheme will be finalised in 2016.
Wagga Tidy Towns committee chairman John Rumens said he was "ecstatic" with the announcement at the weekend.
"We're very pleased it's happening at last," he said.
"Beverage containers and fast food containers are the city's big litter elements - our hope and our expectation is to see it dramatically reduced and totally eliminated."
The scheme could work through a series of "smart" reverse vending machines, which are promised to be rolled out across the state.
Council's environmental education officer Alice Kent said there was a "real problem" with littered containers in NSW communities.
She said plastic bottles were the most littered item by volume.
"Council would support any state government program to reduce litter and increase our recycling rates," Ms Kent said.
"I've not yet come across anyone who is against this program - and it comes up a fair bit."
Polling for the scheme shows 90 per cent support among NSW consumers.
However, the bottled drinks industry remains opposed, citing dramatic cost blowouts on redeemed containers.
Beverage companies would be allowed to raise the costs of drinks by the rebate amount.
Member for Wagga Daryl Maguire said he was not anticipating voter backlash at the ballot box.
"Litter irks me, it just irks me," he said.
"We're renowned for our clean produce, we have a very clear reputation, so why shouldn't that reputation apply to our roadways and streets?"
Kurrajong Recyclers operations manager Tim Macgillycuddy said it was not yet clear what role the recycler would play in the roll-out of the scheme.
Mr Macgillycuddy said it was possible the recycling facility would become a container deposit depot due to the vastness of regional areas and the cost of maintaining reverse vending machines.
"We would most certainly welcome that. It would be a growth in our business," he said.
He said established container deposit schemes have proven to have little affect on kerbside collection.
Mr Maguire said details of the scheme - including the role of Kurrajong Recyclers and Wagga City Council - would be determined over coming years.
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