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Collapse Issue 583:<br />27 Nov 2023<br />_____________Issue 583:
27 Nov 2023
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Staff recommend against Austin Butler reserve sale
Surf camp for Nippers in perfect conditions
Christmas lights to raise money for Vision Australia
Lifetime resident awarded life membership
Two Peninsula residents win environment awards
Busy day for Pearl Beach brigade
Bushland fenced for 'ecological burn'
Five Council documents may be open for comment*
Rotary club raises money for pelican rescue
Jayne Mote is a 'voice of volunteering'
Runner to speak to ABC Friends meeting
Older Women's Network raises $1100 for food donation
Christmas Eve Family Mass to be held on school oval
Volunteers sought for Christmas tree sales
Men's Shed thicknesser is reconditioned
Peninsula Men's Shed holds fundraising exhibition
Family history group meets
Book donations wanted
Tennis players have an early Christmas lunch*
Brigade seeks new recruits*
Reid raise petrol price disparity
Progress association elects committee*
Representatives sought for Youth Parliament*
November rainfall is about average
Five units proposed for multi-dwelling development
Planning panel rejects multi-dwelling proposal
Council to tell Minister of planning review intentions
Shopfronts recommended for funding support
The most cumbersome and unfriendly refund process
Outdoor exercise classes stop
IPART highlights need to budget for green infrastructure
Urgent care clinic opens
Volunteer director retires after 30-year tenure
Hospital opens new mental health ward
Bowling clubs thanked for fundraising*
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Art trail to be held at Pearl Beach
Local authors sought for book launch program
Cafe owner welcomes live music survey
Patchwork group has busy month*
Singers announced for Opera in the Arboretum
Monet's birthday celebrated by aged care residents*
Students challenged to super-size everyday objects
Students compete in school chess championship
Dancers take to the stage for Schools' Spectacular*
St John's farewells Year 6 teacher
School issues batches of rapid antigen tests
'Great day' at Umina campus orientation
Visual arts students produce 84 pots*
Students search for solutions to food waste and nutrition
New parents' executive at Woy Woy*
Ettalong takes national bowls title in BPL Cup
Free rescue course for recreational surfers
SEUFC announces new head women's coach
Bridge pairs competition played on Remembrance Day
Charlie named grand champion in karate world cup
Preparing for disabled surfers' season
Charity bowls day raises $2040
Umina Beach wins through to Division Four final
Southern Spirit cricket results
Netball open representative team chosen*
Junior cricket family night planned
Greg Shirley is Major Singles champion
Umina veteran pairs play final*
Woy Woy soccer club elects new committee*



The most cumbersome and unfriendly refund process

When I was a lad and bought a soft drink, I paid a penny deposit on the bottle.

When the bottle was empty, I took it back to the shop, and the shop-keeper gave me a penny.

In the USA, it works the same way.

If I buy a bottle at the supermarket, I keep the empty until the next time I return to the supermarket, and I get a refund on the spot.

Since I go to the supermarket regularly anyway, it requires no forethought and no effort on my part to do the right thing.

What could be simpler?

By contrast, the NSW system is a nightmare of complexity.

First, I have to return the bottle to a little hutch, hidden in some secluded back street that hardly anybody knows about.

My bet is that 50% of Peninsula residents don't even know that there is a local bottle-return facility and that, of those, 50% don't know where it is.

Secondly, I have to store the bottles, separating glass from plastic, until I have enough to justify a special trip to the hutch.

The timing is rarely convenient, and it's quite often difficult just to find a parking space within carrying distance, since there is no special provision for accessing the hutch.

Thirdly, at the hutch, two (sometimes, three) of the four machines will not be working, so there is another inconvenience.

There is a telephone helpline you can use to report the outage: good luck with getting satisfaction with that.

Fourthly, the machines are very dainty about what is acceptable.

I have a bag of 25 clearly marked "deposit" bottles that the machine has rejected as "not eligible for refund": whoever mans the helpline doesn't want to know about it, and the only suggestion I got was to ring the Department of Environment.

Fifthly, if the machine deigns to accept your bottle, it spits out a refund voucher that is good only at one particular supermarket in the area - a supermarket that I don't use and have to make a special trip to.

This means you have to save up the refund vouchers until they amount to enough for the purchase of some item that you need and, then, make a stop at this particular supermarket, in order to be able to use them: if you don't happen to go in that direction, it's too bad.

If someone were asked to design the most cumbersome and user-unfriendly refund process, to discourage any idea of recycling, the NSW system could hardly be bettered.

Is there any information about what percentage of bottles is actually retrieved through this system: I'd suggest that it is very small.

It is only necessary to make a random check of yellow bins, to see where the vast majority of deposit bottles wind up, which raises the interesting question of where all the unclaimed deposits have gone.

If the vast majority of deposit bottles are just thrown away, where do the deposits disappear to?

Somebody must be making a nice little earner out of unclaimed refunds, but who is it, how much is involved, and what is the money used for?

Perhaps, the Department of Environment knows.

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