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Keeping recyclables out of landfill

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 13 February 2018

South West municipalities are calling on the Victorian Government to help resolve the impasse over recyclable materials.

A decision by China to accept fewer recyclables from Australia has affected Victoria’s three main processors and, in turn, has adversely impacted several Victorian councils.

The municipalities of Corangamite, Moyne and Warrnambool are among those affected now, with Southern Grampians to also be impacted in the near future.

“The events of recent weeks are beyond the control of Local Government,” Warrnambool Mayor Cr Robert Anderson said.

“Councils entered into contracts for the collection of waste and the processing of recyclable materials and these contracts can now not be met.

“If recyclable material cannot go to a processor of these materials it will end up in landfill.

“No-one wants to see recyclable materials end up in landfill however this may unavoidable in the immediate to short term.

“The Victorian Government has the capacity to ensure a better outcome for the environment and ratepayers.

“Over recent years the Victorian Government has been collecting an increasing level of revenue through an EPA landfill levy.

“Proceeds from the levy could be used to resurrect recycling, and to assist Councils to transition to new cost structures over a two to three-year period.”

Moyne Shire Mayor Cr Mick Wolfe said the Victorian Government had the capacity to make a difference.

“The time has come for the proceeds of the State Government levy to be deployed in the manner for which it was intended – the sustainable management of waste,” Cr Wolfe said.

“Alternatively, the State Government could suspend the landfill levy charge for all municipal waste streams to offset the increasing costs.”

Corangamite Shire Council Mayor Jo Beard encouraged residents to continue to do the right thing and only place recycling materials into their recycling bins.

“Our recycling habits have come so far over the years with residents understanding the importance of good recycling practices and the positive effect this has on our environment,” Cr Beard said.

“The best thing we can all do is to keep separating our waste and recyclables until this issue is resolved.”

Cr Beard added that the State Government has collected over $1 million per year from this region through the EPA landfill levy and it is time that they starting investing this funding to find a solution to this matter.

“Council has been advocating to the State Government for many years that very little of the EPA landfill levy has been returned to the region,” she said.

“We call on the State Government to use this funding to look at options to address the issue around the processing of recycling materials.”

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