Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2610 ..
MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I cannot pre-empt actual figures in my budget, and I would not have thought any Treasurer would be asked to do so. What I have said, and I think it is a pretty reasonable undertaking, is that the ACT dental service will not be cut.
MR HIRD: Can the Minister for Urban Services, Mr De Domenico, inform the parliament whether recent figures, data, showed Canberra leading the rest of Australia in recycling household waste through its programs?
MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, I thank the member for his question. It is one that, indeed, represents an exciting development in the Government's waste reduction strategy. Once again, from this side of the house, we have positive questions, Mr Speaker. Members may be interested to know that the latest figures compiled by the city operations section of the Department of Urban Services reveal a huge jump in the amount of materials recycled in the ACT over the past year. Unlike others at other times in this place, this Government has gone about achieving real gains in reducing the Territory's waste. These figures clearly reflect the commitment we have to preserving the Territory's pristine environment.
Mr Wood: Who developed the waste recycling program? It was not you lot.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR DE DOMENICO: I will get to that in a minute. In the past 12 months more than 265,000 tonnes of product was recycled in the ACT, compared to just under 137,000 tonnes in the previous financial year. Last year it was 137,000 tonnes; this year - under the Carnell administration - it is 265,000 tonnes. This figure proves, Mr Speaker, that the Canberra community has participated strongly in using the comprehensive range of recycling services available, implemented by the Government, including kerbside collections of paper and containers, garden waste composting, demolition waste processing, clothing collection, metal and oil recovery, as well as landfill salvage by Revolve. For example, the kerbside recycling program, alone, recovers an incredible 24,000 tonnes of material per year, or 220 kilograms per household per annum. These figures make a mockery of the Opposition's criticism of the Government's environmental policies.
The Greens, too, as we all know, have been critical of the Government's environmental record. In fact, at the launch of Canberra Milk's new satin bowerbird friendly black lids for its two-litre plastic bottles two weeks ago, the Greens got it wrong - yet again - when they claimed that coloured lids could not be recycled. Let me assure the Assembly, Mr Speaker, that the entire bottle - once again, the entire bottle - including the lid, is recyclable under a contract the Government has with Browning-Ferris Industries, signed by the previous Labor Government. The Territory's recycling program now boasts