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Keep up your good recycling habits

Waste and recycling bins

Council is urging residents to continue recycling while its waste contractor has temporarily suspended the processing of recyclables at a regional material recovery centre, due to market forces associated with recent bushfires.

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council is urging residents to continue their good recycling habits while the processing of recyclable materials at a regional material recovery centre is on hold.

Council’s waste contractor Veolia Environmental Services (Veolia) has advised it will temporarily stop processing recyclable materials at its facility in Echuca until further notice.

Household bin collection will continue as usual, including the fortnightly collection of yellow-lidded bins. Residents are encouraged to wait until recycling bins are full before putting them out as commingled materials will be sent to landfill in the short-term.

Residents can continue to drop off sorted recyclables such as paper and cardboard, glass bottles and jars, and steel and aluminium based materials like tins, cans and empty aerosol containers at transfer stations in Castlemaine and Maldon for recycling for free.

“This is a new and unexpected problem for us,” said Phil Josipovic, Director Infrastructure and Development, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“Under our waste management contract, commingled recyclables are usually transported to the materials recovery facility in Echuca where items like paper, cardboard, metals and hard plastics are sorted and processed for recycling.”

“Based on the advice received from Veolia, we understand the decision to suspend processing is based on a reduction in demand for mixed paper, known as commons, due to market forces linked to the recent bushfires.

“Paper and cardboard comprise a large percentage of the recyclable product at this site and there also are safety and regulatory issues associated with stockpiling,” he said.

Council is committed to responsible waste management and will continue to work with Veolia to investigate alternatives within the terms of its contract.

“We know that many of our residents, community groups and businesses are keen recyclers and, like us, will be disappointed in this outcome,” said Mr Josipovic.

“We encourage everyone to continue to reduce, reuse and recycle as we all have a role to play in reducing the amount of waste we produce in the first instance. This will also help ensure a smooth transition as soon as the service resumes.”

“We have all seen several industry examples that demonstrate the complex challenges associated with recycling and a lack of economic markets available to sustain the recovery of materials,” said Mr Josipovic.

“We are hoping the state government’s circular economy policy and action plan, due for release soon, will help us all work together to developing some solutions on this issue.”

For more information contact Council on 5471 1700. For information on waste and recycling services and how to sort your load visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/wastemanagement.

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