Wagga MP Daryl Maguire has staunchly defended the NSW Return and Earn recycling scheme following estimations taxpayers could be losing more than $100 million on higher beverage prices while only receiving $8.3 million in refunds.
Since the state-wide scheme was launched on December 1, 83 million cans and bottles have been returned since the state-wide launch on December 1, less than 10 per cent of eligible containers sold in that time frame.
Wagga’s two reverse vending machines have accepted more than 2 million cans during this time, however, suppliers have estimated the total cost for taxpayers could exceed $110 million.
This morning, Ms Berejiklian admitted the Return and Earn scheme had “major teething problems”.
“We appreciate there’s more work to do in terms of collection points and making them more accessible,” she told media.
In a statement given to The Daily Advertiser, Mr Maguire stood by the scheme, rejecting estimated sums and assuring charges were “tightly controlled”.
“The numbers quoted were projections by the beverage industry,” he said.
“In Wagga, a total of 2.8 million containers have been returned since the scheme began.
“That’s $280,000 going to locals, sporting clubs and charities.”
Alfredtown service station worker Kavya Manohar said residents from outlying towns such as Ladysmith, Forest Hill and Book Book were making the most of the over-the-counter facility.
“Our entire shipping container has already filled up and many farmers are coming in to deliver their containers,” she said.
“Quite a few people we’ve spoken to are actually happier using the over-the-counter facilities because it’s easier than feeding bottles through the vending machine.”