Port Phillip Council welcomes the Municipal Association of Victoria’s timely plan for the Victorian and Federal Governments to take urgent action to “future  proof” the recycling industry.

We also support the MAV’s call in its Rescue Our Recycling Action Plan for the Victorian Government to provide funding relief to councils over the short-term to cover unbudgeted additional costs incurred by councils affected by the SKM closures. 

Since 18 February,  we have had no other option than to send our recyclables to landfill. This means that as of today,  we have diverted about 584 tonnes to landfill at a cost to Council of $70,099.

Our Don’t Waste It!  waste management strategy, endorsed by Council last year, strongly aligns with  the MAV’s action plan, which also urges a partnership approach to tackling both recycling and waste reduction.

We have been advised by the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group, which manages our recycling contract with SKM, that SKM hopes to reopen its Laverton plant soon, possibly next week. This will  be contingent on receiving EPA approval to do so.

While we are eager for our recyclables to again be processed, this recycling crisis has underlined how vulnerable the recycling market is and the need for a co-ordinated, long-term approach to tackling the unsustainable amounts of waste being generated in Australia.

A truly sustainable resolution requires all three levels of government to work in partnership, together with a range of agencies and communities.

Councils cannot, and should not, be expected to “carry the can” alone.