Columns
Residents' Association Image

Residents' Association

An election is upon us …
Read more >>

Business in Southbank Image

Business in Southbank

Sell now or wait? COVID-19 – supply and demand imbalance
Read more >>

St Johns Southgate Image

St Johns Southgate

“You’re on mute!”
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

The future of apartment living - post COVID-19
Read more >>

Montague Community Alliance Image

Montague Community Alliance

Voting creates your future …
Read more >>

Chinese

绿党承诺建高架公园
Read more >>

Metro Tunnel

Metro Tunnel reaches halfway milestone
Read more >>

Owners' Corporation Management

Why it pays to be neighbourly in a strata building
Read more >>

Federal Politics Image

Federal Politics

Why Magnitsky Act is important for Australia
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Short-stays will endanger COVID recovery
Read more >>

Southbanker Image

Southbanker

A Green-minded Southbanker
Read more >>

Port Places

Fishermans Bend: the first quarter 2019
Read more >>

Housing Image

Housing

Housing vulnerable Australians means making tough choices
Read more >>

History Image

History

Dancing at the Troc!
Read more >>

Safety and Security

Bicycle security and safety
Read more >>

Southbank Sustainability Group Image

Southbank Sustainability Group

Something extra to be happy about
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Gaslighting in relationships
Read more >>

Skypad Living Image

Skypad Living

Making residential living a council election priority
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Spoiling princess Chloe
Read more >>

Southbank Fashion Image

Southbank Fashion

Spring racing in Southbank
Read more >>

Street Smarts Image

Street Smarts

Power Street – Southbank
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

What’s behind the lights?
Read more >>

Recycling crisis grips the city

05 Mar 2019

Recycling crisis grips the city Image

By Kevin Jingga

The City of Melbourne is one of a number of local councils currently searching for answers to address the recycling crisis that is plaguing the nation.

Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) president Tony Penna raised the recycling issue with councillors at the Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting on February 19.

Mr Penna asked whether the council was affected and, if so, what solutions it was considering to curb the issue.

Recycling giant SKM has recently stopped accepting material for recycling following a ruling by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) that it could no longer store it due to the risk of a fire.

Since China banned the import of 24 categories of recycled materials from Australia in 2018, local councils have yet to find an alternative solution for recycling besides stockpiling or sending it straight to landfill.

Deputy Lord Mayor and council’s environment portfolio deputy chair Arron Wood said that while the situation was “unacceptable”, all affected councils were still searching for solutions.

“It’s unsatisfactory, it’s unpalatable, and it’s galling that we are in this situation after having the China crisis, after having a state-wide resource recovery infrastructure plan,” Cr Wood told the meeting.

Cr Wood said he hoped that SKM would accept recycling again soon.

“But again we can’t speed that process up or get involved in that process between the EPA and SKM,” he said.

He emphasised that while the “blame game” between councils and the state government would not help find a solution to get kerbside recycling back to being recycled, council was looking to the state for leadership.

“The facts are that we have a landfill levy that all councils are paying, so it is our money that is in the order of $500 million plus,” he said.

“We look forward to working with the state government on getting some of those funds in the market so we can attract some of the bigger guys to come into our market.”

“That may take some seed funding whether that’s development of facilities, further development of market.”

While he said he and his fellow councillors were “shattered” about the situation, he encouraged residents to keep recycling, claiming SKM was optimistic of reopening services in the next seven days.

“They’ve (SKM) said that they are optimistic in opening in the next seven days. We are unsure how that optimism is placed but again that’s with them to work through with the EPA.”

“What we need to do is look at a range of things. We need to stop the waste getting into the stream in the first place, which is the ultimate goal.”

Cr Wood also said it was his understanding that the kerbside recycling going to the landfill had started the week before the meeting. He also confirmed that many councillors were given notice just hours before the EPA’s notice was served.

Stay in touch with Southbank. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Southbank Local News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.