Return and Earn sites the new dumping grounds
THE state government's maligned Return and Earn scheme - which was designed to reduce litter - is having the opposite effect, with participants treating the initiative's recycling facilities as de facto rubbish dumps.
Overflowing bins and towers of trash are sprouting at the scheme's reverse vending machines, which offer a 10c refund for each container delivered.
Residents say the situation is so bad at some collection points the facilities have been temporarily shut down because the dumping has become a "health hazard".
A paddle pool was among the junk piled in front of a Return and Earn facility at Mullumbimby, in the NSW Northern Rivers region, which was forced to close because of dumping.
And not even a skip bin was enough to stem the tide of trash dumped at a collection point at Lismore.
Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said all Return and Earn sites were cleaned by Tomra Cleanaway "at least once a day, some up to three times a day".