Business as usual for kerbside recycling collections
Mitchell Shire Council has welcomed a $13 million Victorian Government assistance package to help councils deal with China’s recycling ban in the short to medium term, and will continue working with the relevant authorities to try and find a longer-term solution.
Visy is currently contracted by Council to undertake kerbside collections in the shire, accessing markets in China to process recycled materials.
However, access to these markets has recently been restricted, impacting the entire Australian recycling industry, including pricing arrangements.
As a result, recycling processors have begun refusing to accept recyclable material from some metropolitan and regional councils and have imposed new fees.
While Mitchell Shire is not affected at this stage and kerbside collections remain as usual, effected Councils had been preparing to have to pass these new costs on to ratepayers.
Council has been active in joining with the Municipal Association of Victoria, state and regional Waste and Resource Recovery Groups and other Councils to call on the State Government to urgently respond with support.
On Thursday, the Victorian Government announced a $13 million funding package, which will help councils deal with these pressures until 30 June 2018.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said the issue was evolving and Council would continue to collaborate with a range of industry bodies to push for a long-term solution.
“Council has been working with the Victorian Government, Municipal Association of Victoria, Goulburn Valley Waste and Resource Recovery Group as a matter of urgency to respond to the issues posed by the China restrictions on recycling,” Cr Sanderson said.
“While there is no impact to our residents at the moment, we’re continuing to monitor the situation and we are working closely with Visy to understand what, if any, impacts may be experienced moving forward.
“Council is in constant dialogue and will continue to work closely with Visy to lessen any possible impacts on residents.
“The funding assistance from the Victorian Government will help those affected Councils in the short to medium term and we, as an industry, look forward to working with them to find a long term solution to minimise any cost increases being passed on to residents.
“In the meantime, residents should keep recycling as usual and reduce the amount of waste they produce in the first instance.
“We will keep the community informed if there are any changes to the situation.”