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By Emily Arlidge for JAC

Residents of Stanthorpe, in Queensland’s biggest and oldest wine making district, have questioned the enthusiasm and effectiveness of Southern Downs Regional Council’s glass recycling program.

Almost nine months after a system was launched, few of the district’s wineries use the facility. They say it is too inconvenient and takes wine businesses, especially those who are well out of town, too much time.

Some wineries are over 40 kilometres away from Stanthorpe and there is no collection system for bottles.

Ballandean resident and winery owner, Jeff Harden, says the Council does not make the process easy.

“The last recycling facility was privately owned but it lacked Council permission and was closed down,” he says. “The Council’s new centre provides no pick-up like before. It is very inconvenient and fairly small.”

Mr Harden’s Bungawarra Wines, like many others in the region, previously donated empty bottles to the Scouting Association, who would wash and re-sell the bottles, using a washing facility in Stanthorpe.

Winemaker Leanne Puglisi-Gangemi, agrees that the council system is inadequate and not promoted. She says Ballandean Estate gives bottles away to bulk wine customers. “They are pleasantly surprised to get free bottles,” she says. “So far the Council has not been helpful.”

The Council told us no one was available to comment. The contractor, JJ Richards, did not return our calls.

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