IT'S time for Victoria to introduce a container deposit scheme, the City of Greater Bendigo says.
The council will write to Minister for Energy, the Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio seeking her support to establish a system similar to that of New South Wales.
One billion containers were collected in New South Wales by the scheme's first anniversary.
Recycling rates jumped from 32 per cent to 54 per cent, and the value of recyclable material almost trebled.
"This needs to happen in Victoria and the time is right. Let's get on with it," Councillor Andrea Metcalf said.
The idea was born of the Loddon Mallee Waste Resource Recovery Group Forum.
Representatives from each of the municipalities involved in the group will be asking their councils to write to the minister, as well as other state and federal politicians.
Jacinta Allan, Lisa Chesters and Maree Edwards will all receive copies of the City of Greater Bendigo's letter.
Councillors were unanimous in their support for the proposal.
Councillor Jennifer Alden said a container deposit scheme would help the city achieve its target of zero waste by 2036.
She said some Victorian councils, such as Wyndham, had trialled reverse vending container deposit schemes.
"A new approach has emerged in Adelaide to identify and sort containers by integrating industrial Internet of Things technology and a vision counting and sorting system," Cr Alden said.
"A recycling depot employee loads the mixed containers onto a vision and sorting system hopper that uses advanced vision technology to count up to 350 containers per minute without the need for coding or labelling.
"The containers are counted in real time for a predicted refund sum that customers can view on a TV screen.
"Our success with the Internet of Things in Bendigo positions us well to adopt this type of technology."
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Ms D'Ambrosio wrote to all Victorian councils and waste and resource recovery boards after the Environment Protection Authority ordered SKM Recycling to stop accepting recyclable materials at its Coolaroo and Laverton North sites, due to fire risk.
She suggested councils include a contingency plan in their contracts with services, in case a site closed.
"The recycling issue will not be solved by improving councils' contracting arrangements," a report to councillors in Wednesday's meeting agenda said.
"It requires that all levels of governments work together to put in place the systems and regulations that will lead to a circular economy, in which materials are reused rather than dumped."
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