Brimbank Council has made a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Recycling and Waste Management (page 72 of Report 12.5 - Governance Report May 2019) putting forward its recommendations on how to tackle the current recycling and waste management crisis in Victoria.
Among numerous recommendations, Council’s submission has called on the Victorian Government to properly re-evaluate:
- The current provision of waste disposal and recycling services
- The impact of levies and how these are utilised, and
- The capacity to address the ongoing waste disposal issues for commercial, industrial, household and hazardous waste
Mayor of Brimbank, Cr Lucinda Congreve said recent issues with resource recovery services – particularly kerbside recycling – has highlighted systemic issues with the provision of recycling and waste management in Victoria and Australia.
“More than 90 per cent of Victoria’s kerbside recycling is processed by three recyclers who largely rely on overseas markets to support their business model.
“We’re already seeing the significant impact of China’s National Sword decision that restricts the importation of certain recyclable materials.
“In recent months the lack of other viable alternative recycling processing options meant we had to send tonnes of recyclable material from our community to landfill after our service provider was ordered to temporarily stop accepting recyclables.
“This situation highlights the vulnerability of the industry and the significant financial pressures being placed on councils and ratepayers.
“These events have the potential to derail the past 20 years of recycling efforts in Brimbank, and the community’s confidence in our ability to provide recycling services.
“The situation needs to be fixed,” Cr Congreve said.
Brimbank’s submission notes the impact the historic waste and contamination issues continue to have on Melbourne’s west.
“We are seeing significant new interest from investors, business and community organisations keen to consider opportunities associated with the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, however historical land contamination issues will be a factor in how these organisations and Council can consider these opportunities.
“For far too long Melbourne’s west has unfairly absorbed a large portion of Victoria’s waste, the effects of which we are still feeling today.
“We are asking for the storage and processing of waste to be equally and fairly distributed across the state – not just the north-west.
“We’re encouraged by the Victorian Government initiating this inquiry chaired by local Member Cesar Melhem. We think this is an important step in finding potential solutions to the crisis we’re currently facing,” Cr Congreve said.