The Andrews Labor Government is taking further action to support Victoria’s recycling sector, with a $10 million loan to SKM’s receivers KordaMentha to help clean-up SKM sites and resume waste processing. At the same time the Government is beginning the process to overhaul kerbside recycling.
The $10 million loan will help clear waste stockpiles and fund essential maintenance work to get SKM’s plants back up and running, while meeting strict environmental and safety standards.
The Laverton site will be the first to return to operation with stockpile clearing to begin within the week and some processing expected to start within five weeks. Further work is required to bring the Hallam, Geelong and Coolaroo facilities back on line.
It’s clear that the quality of Australia’s recyclable material is compromised due to its high rate of contamination and kerbside collection is key to improving the separation of waste and making it easier to recycle this material.
That’s why the Labor Government is working in partnership with local government and industry through September on a major overhaul of kerbside collection, that will seek innovative and cost-effective designs that could include additional household bins to reduce waste contamination.
Negotiating new kerbside collection services across councils will send a strong signal to industry, trigger a change to community behaviour and reduce waste and contamination.
It’s expected that an EOI will be released following this consultation to design the new kerbside collection service that will start from 2021.
Today’s announcement comes on top of a $6.6 million financial relief package to councils directly affected by the closure of SKM which includes a rebate to cover the cost of the landfill levy so councils are not out of pocket.
Key actions also underway include banning lightweight plastic shopping bags, developing the Circular Economy Policy, assisting councils to improve their recycling contracts and banning e-waste from landfill.
The Government has invested more than $141 million in Victoria’s waste and resource recovery industry, including $37 million for the Recycling Industry Strategic Plan. This funding is diverting more than 770,000 tonnes of reusable material from landfill every year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“This loan is the fastest way of getting recyclable materials sent to processing sites instead of landfill.”
“An overhaul of kerbside collection is the next step in getting our recycling sector back on track by reducing contamination and improving the quality of recyclable materials.”
“We’re getting on with delivering a strong and resilient local recycling sector that the Victorian public expects and deserves.”