Another recycling crisis

Article image - Another recycling crisis Fire risk at recycling processing plants is averted while recyclables headed for landfill.

Melbourne metropolitan councils have called on the state and federal governments to take the current recycling crisis in Victoria seriously.

In the wake of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) announcement last week that recycling processor SKM had been ordered to stop receiving recyclable material until further notice, 31 council areas making up the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group, called for quick action by governments to avoid further escalation of the crisis.

SKM is yet to reopen three of its facilities shut down by the EPA last Friday which receive 50 percent of Victoria’s kerbside recycling.

Mornington Peninsular Shire Mayor, David Gill, said every effort had been made to continue recycling without disrupting collection services to the community, but temporary storage was now at capacity.

“This is an extremely disappointing situation, sending recyclable material to landfill was always our last resort.

“Council is strongly advocating to State and Federal Government to share the responsibility with local government to ensure a quick resolution of the current crisis and ensure this cannot happen again.”

Mornington Peninsular Council representative for the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Forum, Councillor Simon Brooks, said the Shire has paid over $26 million in landfill levy over the past 10 years, contributing to the current $500 million fund held by the Government.

“We’re insisting that the Government activate their existing plans to drive improvements in the recycling industry and increase processing capacity at our facilities”.