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Funding Welcomed

Funding Welcomed

First Steps In Fixing Victoria's Recycling Crisis

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s $6.6 million support package for councils over four months, as well as additional funding for the recycling industry to improve their sorting and processing of recycled materials.

A recent Parliamentary Budget Office report estimated the unfunded cost to councils of the recycling crises for the 18 months to 30 June has been around $42 million with costs continuing to rise with the closure of SKM, the company that was processing the state's recycling.

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A number of councils are actively investigating or already trialling the use of a fourth bin for glass. Councils are currently reusing glass waste in road base and pavements. Separating out different recycled materials would help to decrease contamination levels and create a more usable end product.

Cr Coral Ross, MAV President welcomed the short-term measures announced by the State, with conversations ongoing between all levels of government to identify longer-term investment and solutions to stabilise our recycling system.

“The $6.6 million package for 33 councils is positive acknowledgement by the Victorian Government of the need for their direct investment and support, although we are unclear whether the funding will cover the full cost increases incurred by councils.

“Sending recyclable material to landfill is always a last resort for councils. However until capacity is increased at remaining recycling facilities or new recyclers are attracted to the market, there are almost no other alternatives for some affected councils.

“We urgently need greater regulation of the recycling industry to stop the likes of the SKM situation from occurring again, and to prevent opportunistic price increases from other recycling providers.

“Stronger oversight of industry would also provide councils with important data to inform their contract decision-making – such as details about the end markets for recycled materials, and compliance and enforcement status and history.

Cr Ross also called on the State to introduce a container deposit scheme.

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