Wine and spirits bottles should be added to South Australia’s container deposit scheme to cut down on dumping costs and improve recycling rates, East Waste says.
A subsidiary of seven Adelaide metropolitan councils, East Waste is concerned that the bottles often break in bins, contaminating other recyclables such as paper and cardboard.
The call comes after the company released the results of its kerbside bin audit conducted late last year. This found that on average, households disposed of more than 21kg of wine bottles a year.
East Waste chair Fraser Bell said the audit’s findings demonstrated a “strong case for improved glass recycling”, like wine bottles.
“It’s a logical extension of a scheme that promotes resource recovery,” Mr Bell said. “Wine and spirit bottles are just as recyclable as beer bottles. Glass is an excellent recyclable product, and SA has a fantastic need for wine bottles.”
Nearly 30 tonnes of rubbish, taken from 2143 bins across 700 households, was analysed in the East Waste audit.
The Local Government Association of South Australia has also been calling for wine bottles to be included in the container deposit scheme.
LGASA President Sam Telfer said more than half of all glass in recycling bins was wine bottles.
“Including wine bottles in the container deposit scheme would help to reduce the amount of glass in the kerbside recycling bin and increase the amount of glass being recovered,” Mr Telfer said.
“If glass breaks in the waste collection trucks, it loses its value and contaminates other materials.”
The state government launched a review into the scheme – which grants 10c refunds when certain drink containers are returned to depots – in January last year.
An Environment Protection Authority spokesman said a discussion paper assessing possibly including wine and spirit bottles in the scheme was being developed.