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Experts back cashback plan to help Victoria’s recycling crisis

Victoria’s recycling woes could be solved by a container deposit scheme and other solutions according to a leading academic.

Dr Trevor Thornton, a lecturer at Deakin University’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences, says the introduction of a container deposit scheme — paying residents a per-item rate for certain items — would help solve problems such as contamination, which is most prevalent among glass items.

Victoria is the only state in Australia that doesn’t have a cashback program, nor plans to start one.

“Container deposit schemes bring a lot of glass out of the recycling stream, so I’d like to see that happen first,” Dr Thornton told Ross and John.

“If we go down the process of cleaning up all this recycling and private industry aren’t going to do it, then let state government walk in and do it.”

Other options include a ban of food scraps from landfill and a publicly-owned recycling center.

“We’ve got to look outside the box,” Dr Thornton said.

“Certainly food scraps, banning that from landfill, if we set that sort of ban up then private industry often walks in with the technologies and processing plants.”

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