Vic Govt funds SKM plant resurrection
The Andrews Labor Government is providing Victoria’s recycling sector with a $10 million loan to help resolve the state’s waste crisis following the closure of SKM Recycling’s processing plants. The loan will help clear waste stockpiles and fund essential maintenance work to get the 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 set to begin within the week and waste processing expected to start within five weeks. Further work is required to bring the Hallam, Geelong and Coolaroo facilities back online.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said, “This loan is the fastest way of getting recyclable materials sent to processing sites instead of landfill. We’re getting on with delivering a strong and resilient local recycling sector that the Victorian public expects and deserves.”
The Victorian Government is also working in partnership with local government and industry throughout September on a major overhaul of kerbside collection, which will seek innovative and cost-effective designs that could include additional household bins to reduce waste contamination. It is hoped that improving the separation of waste at kerbside will reduce the rate of contamination and improve the quality of Australia’s recyclable material.
“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,” D’Ambrosio said.
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 a call for expressions of interest will be released following this consultation to design the new kerbside collection service that will start from 2021.
The $10 million loan 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 re-usable material from landfill every year.
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