Victoria is set to introduce a cash for recycling scheme, the last state or territory in Australia to have established, or committed to establishing, one.

The scheme will encourage people to recycle cans, bottles and other recyclable containers at designated drop off sites, to earn a cash refund. If Victoria follows other states such as New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory, the likely price per item would be 10c.

A government spokeswoman told C&I magazine this week that while they had no announcement to make as yet, that they were committed to reducing waste.

“The Andrews Labor Government is developing a comprehensive circular economy policy that will deliver better environmental, social and economic results, as it will maximise the reuse of materials and reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill,” they said.

It follows calls from Victorian constituents to join the rest of Australia in adopting a formal scheme, including tabling a petition with the Parliament of Victoria last year.

However, while it’s expected the government will publicly announce the scheme in the coming weeks, The Age have reported the earliest the scheme would be operational is 2023.

In NSW, where the successful ‘return and earn’ scheme was introduced in December, 2017, more than three billion containers have been recycled.

The news comes after a challenging year for the state’s recycling, which saw many local councils resort to sending recyclable goods to landfill after major waste processing company SKM Recycling was ordered to stop accepting recycling, before the company was put into receivership in August.

An inquiry into the crisis last year recommended the government look into strategies to reduce and better manage waste, including looking at container deposit schemes and banning single use plastics.

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