Byford Bag Ladies and Lads hail container refund scheme


Byford residents Colleen Rankin, Max Erskine and Ruth Conway collect up to 60 bags of rubbish from the streets each week.  Picture: Jon Hewson          d458387
Byford residents Colleen Rankin, Max Erskine and Ruth Conway collect up to 60 bags of rubbish from the streets each week. Picture: Jon Hewson         d458387

THE Byford Bag Ladies and Lads welcomed a promise by the government and Opposition to introduce a 10c refund for drink bottles and cans in a bid to reduce litter from the middle of 2018.

Team leader Colleen Rankin said the Byford group had twice called for the refund scheme.

She said drink containers, mostly thrown from vehicles along the highway, formed about 40 per cent of the rubbish collected off the streets of Byford.

But in recent years, a new environmental threat emerged.

Building waste blown from open skip bins on new home sites now forms a further 40 per cent of Byford’s litter.

For the past 26 years, Byford Bag Ladies and Lads have been collecting the litter. The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale pays any community group $3 for each bag of litter collected.

“We would be very pleased if there was a reduction in the amount of rubbish thrown from vehicles,” Ms Rankin said.

“We try to go down every road within five kilometres of Byford annually (but) it is getting very hard to do this.

“We pick up enormous amounts of rubbish each week – about 50 to 60 bags a week.”

The group has applied for a $5000 grant from Keep Australia Beautiful to encourage builders to use skip bins with lids.

She said the council was also writing to building companies and its rangers conducted patrols.

The government announced on August 18 that its container refund would be available from reverse vending machines and collection depots at parks, benches and other public spaces across WA.

Neither the government nor the Opposition could say how many collection points would be provided.

People will pay more for bottled drinks as a result – to cover the cost of the refund – and will pay a higher landfill levy under the government’s reforms.

Littering and illegal dumping will attract bigger fines.

Reforms also include the Better Bins system for households and the Recycled Construction Products Program.