Locals cashing in while they can

Friday, 29th August, 2008

Locals will soon find out if they will be able to keep cashing in their beer bottles and cans.

The past month has been the busiest time in the 30-year history of Channing's Bottle Yard in Newton Lane as people rushed to claim their deposits.

On Tuesday this week cars were backed up to Nicholls Street, a spokesman for Channing's said yesterday.

Late last month the Adelaide recycling company that accepts the recyclables from Channing's suddenly announced that, from August 31, it would no longer take them.

The five cent deposit on each container sold in South Australia will rise to 10 cents on September 1 and Marine Stores said that it had no obligation to pay the deposit to people in Broken Hill, even though it had done so for 30-odd years.

Marine Stores is a subsidiary of the brewers Lion Nathan and the SA Brewing Company. Fosters also deals with them.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in SA recently gave recycling companies the right to refuse bottles and cans from interstate because the deposit is not paid outside of SA.

But most of Broken Hill's beer has always come from SA and local drinkers have therefore paid the deposit.

According to the Channing's spokesman, Marines Stores were meeting their own lawyers yesterday to further discuss their liability in the matter and their final decision could be known today.

If bottles and cans cannot be recycled here, then this is a problem not just for drinkers, but also for the City Council because it will end up with a huge amount of extra waste. 

At the start of this month Council wrote to the SA Government and Marine Stores to put the case for Broken Hill. 

Council's Environmental Services Manager, Peter Oldsen, said neither had replied. Local State MP John Williams wrote to the SA Premier and the EPA but had heard nothing from them either 

"Obviously we've got real concerns about this and we'll keep pushing the issue," Mr Williams said yesterday.

"As long as we are receiving supplies from South Australia I believe they have a responsibility to deal with the waste."