SIMPLY HARD: Ian McKinnon had difficulty depositing recyclable containers for the first time.
SIMPLY HARD: Ian McKinnon had difficulty depositing recyclable containers for the first time. Caitlin Zerafa

Questions raised over recycling system

"NIGHTMARE” was the word used by locals who stood in the sun for 40 minutes on Wednesday and navigated how to deposit their recyclable containers.

"It needs to be simple and the government has not made it simple,” Ian Mckinnon said as he deposited three bags at the Waves of Kindness Envirobank Pod.

"We've done all the research to understand it, but it's not easy.”

After signing up to the Envirobank's Crunch rewards system, logging in, scanning and depositing each bag, the process took far longer than he expected.

Russell and Adele Cook also found the process problematic.

"We came here yesterday and there were no bags left,” Ms Cook said.

"Then we tried to deposit them at Eumundi for an hour and gave up.”

"We had signed up and done everything right.”

Wanting to give the system a go, they were determined to see it through but technical trouble scanning the bag's QR codes resulted in the need to individually type each code.

Meanwhile other recyclers experienced no issues.

"They have made it so difficult to recycle, one has to question if the government has put it together as a tax grab,” Mr Cook said.

"It's just frustrating. I know you have teething problems with everything new but you would think with it working in other states we wouldn't have a problem,” Ms Cook added.

She said it will just be a matter of recyclers getting used to the system.

The new Envirobank pod was set up to alleviate Noosa's container issue after recent social media outrage.

Noosa MP Sandy Bolton addressed concerns regarding the Containers for Change Scheme roll out and in response organised the pod to be set up last weekend while plans for a depot site were under way.

"Understandably there has been some frustration and anger over this roll out,” Ms Bolton said.

"However over the next four weeks we shall see a vast improvement ... including a full depot which is currently in the tendering process with COEX.”

COEX is the Container Exchange operators for the Queensland Government scheme.

While the rest of the state has responded well to the scheme, returning containers in the Noosa region has been difficult, partly because no cash depot was initially set up.

"COEX had advised there was underestimation in the massive take up from the communities across Queensland.”

In investigating why Noosa had experienced difficulties where other regions had not, Ms Bolton said there were several contributing factors.

This included finding suitable depot sites and organisations interested in hosting drop-offs, who had so far held off to see how other hosts sites handled potential issues. This meant supply versus demand was not met.

"It has caused a number of difficulties for drop-off points which quickly became full within hours of being emptied,” Ms Bolton said.

A backlog of collected containers created initial overloads and a subsequent Envirobank bag shortage.

Ms Bolton asked locals to be patient and "hang in a little longer” as problems are ironed out.


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