Brimbank City Council is bitterly disappointed by the reported news that SKM - the company that 33 Victorian Councils, including Brimbank have been contracted to for the processing of kerbside recycling material – has now been declared insolvent.
Since SKM ceased accepting kerbside recycling material last week, Brimbank - like many other impacted Councils - has had to divert recyclable material to landfill.
This latest development seems to have confirmed our worst fears and leaves us – and many other Councils - without a recycling processing facility for kerbside recycling for the foreseeable future.
We are deeply concerned about the lack of clear options available to Brimbank – and to all of the other Councils who now find themselves in the same situation.
More than 90 per cent of Victoria’s kerbside recycling is processed by three recyclers – one of which is now insolvent - who largely rely on overseas markets to support their business model.
Brimbank is liaising with the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG), who manage Council’s contract with SKM, to better understand the implications of SKM’s insolvency for Council, and to look at immediate options and long term solutions to manage recycling services for our households.
Brimbank – like many other Victorian councils – has been talking about the state-wide systemic issues with the provision of recycling and waste management in Victoria for some time.
In Council’s submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Recycling and Waste Management earlier this year, we called on the Victorian Government to properly re-evaluate the current provision of waste disposal and recycling services, and the impact of levies and how these are utilised.
The Victorian Government has known for some time there are systemic issues with the provision of recycling and waste management in Victoria and Australia.
The Federal Government also needs to take responsibility for a lack of effective national leadership and coordination under its own National Waste Policy.
The situation needs to be fixed. Both levels of Government need to get serious about recycling waste and invest the resources needed to protect our environment, communities and industries.
We need a sustainable waste economy and local industry based on alternative and advanced waste and resource recovery technology - not a last century reliance on stockpiling and shifting waste offshore or being buried in landfill.
To our community I say - we share your disappointment and we want to assure you that Brimbank is working hard to find workable options for recyclables.
Earlier this week Council introduced cardboard and paper recycling drop-off points to support our community to continue to recycle at our Resource Recovery Centre in Keilor Park and at One Paper in Laverton North.
We are looking at more potential drop-off locations, as well as other measures to continue to support recycling in Brimbank.
Until a viable alternative can be arranged, Brimbank’s kerbside recycling collection service will continue – with recyclable material being directed to landfill.
We encourage our residents to make every effort to minimise their waste and to look at alternatives to placing recyclable items in the recycling bin – there are heaps of alternatives. For some handy tips, visit Council’s website – brimbank.vic.gov.au
We will keep our community updated with the next steps as soon as we are able.