Firms re­ject drum re­cy­cling

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

AT least 20 agri­cul­tural chem­i­cal com­pa­nies have shunned the na­tion’s DrumMuster con­tainer re­cy­cling scheme, forc­ing farm­ers to stock­pile con­tam­i­nated drums.

Com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Sa­puto’s Murray Goul­burn, Sabakem, Tas­man Chem­i­cals and Eco­lab are re­fus­ing to pay the 4c-a-litre levy that cov­ers the cost of run­ning the re­cy­cling scheme.

The re­fusal to pay has forced AgSafe, which runs the DrumMuster pro­gram, to post black­lists at its 813 col­lec­tion sites pro­hibit­ing con­tain­ers from “non-par­tic­i­pant com­pa­nies”.

The black­list states that given the de­ci­sions from th­ese com­pa­nies not to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram, AgSafe ex­pects no con­tain­ers from them should be ac­cepted at col­lec­tion sites.

“[Tip] in­spec­tors should ad­vise the chem­i­cal users de­liv­er­ing any con­tain­ers from th­ese com­pa­nies that the drums have to be re­jected as no levy has been paid for in­clu­sion in the pro­gram. Users should take up the re­jec­tion is­sue with the com­pany or place of pur­chase,” it con­tin­ues.

Vic­to­rian dairy farmer Alex Robert­son said he tried to drop off Tas­man, Eco­lab and Ru­rakura con­tain­ers at a tip but was told to take them home.

“What am I sup­posed to do with them?” Mr Robert­son asked. “My QA [quality as­sur­ance] pro­gram doesn’t me to store them.”

Sabakem chem­i­cals Vic­to­rian-NSW sales man­ager David Ford said the com­pany would not pay the levy and it was up to the pur­chaser what they did with con­tain­ers.

“Ev­ery­one wants some­one else to be re­spon­si­ble,” Mr Ford said.

“Where does the buck stop? Does Kel­logg’s be­come re­spon­si­ble for the card­board [in its ce­real boxes]?” al­low

Mr Ford said there were con­cerns on how DrumMuster funds were be­ing spent.

AgSafe’s an­nual re­port showed it re­ceived $3.4 mil­lion in DrumMuster levy rev­enue in 2017-2018, but spent $1.98 mil­lion on pro­gram cost re­cov­ery, field of­fi­cers and train­ing.

AgSafe gen­eral man­ager Do­minique Doyle said ad­di­tional costs were in­curred across the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Ms Doyle said AgSafe had iden­ti­fied “a par­tic­i­pa­tion gap”, es­pe­cially from com­pa­nies in the dairy sani­tiser in­dustr and was work­ing to get all com­pa­nies on board.

Com­pany with­drawals from may be­come a big­ger is­sue next July as the levy rises from 4c/L to 6c/L.

Since its in­cep­tion in 1999, the na­tional DrumMuster scheme has col­lected more than 32 mil­lion con­tain­ers, which equates to over 37,000 tonnes di­verted from land­fill.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.