Brisk start to recycling initiative in Australia's New South Wales state

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-04 13:18:18|Editor: Zhou Xin
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SYDNEY, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- One of Australia's latest recycling projects in the state of New South Wales collected more than half a million drink containers within its first three days, according to organizers.

"This is a great start to the scheme -- people's participation in the scheme is exceeding expectations," a state media release quoted its Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton as saying on Monday.

More than 200 collection points were rolled out on Dec 1, when people were able to cash in their drink containers for a refund of 10 Australian cents each using "Return and Earn" vending machines.

Drink containers make up nearly half of litter and the project is set to rake in more than 40 percent of that, said Upton.

Collection points also include over-the-counter spots at cafes and small grocers. But worries and criticisms of the green move include the vending machines being inaccessible to those with disabilities and businesses passing on the added costs of compliance to customers.

Australia produced about 64 million tonnes of waste between 2014 to 2015, or about 2.7 tonnes for each person, with almost 60 percent being recycled, according to a national waste report prepared for the Department of the Environment and Energy.