Macedon Ranges recycling not off to landfill

By Jessica Micallef

Recyclable material collected in the Macedon Ranges will not be sent to landfill after the Environment Protection Authority put a ban on contractor SKM Recycling.

EPA Victoria on Thursday night ordered SKM to stop receiving recyclables at its glass recycling facility, leading to the closure of its four processing plants in Coolaroo, Laverton, Geelong and Hallam until further notice.

Macedon Ranges council assets and operations acting director Anne-Louise Linder said the council was working with waste management service Four Seasons to make arrangements to send all recycling to an alternative processing facility.

She said kerbside collections would continue as usual.

“Council is committed to resource recovery and does not intend to send any of the shire’s recycling to landfill,” she said.

“Council has been advocating for a tripartite solution to the recycling crisis with all levels of government working together. We are committed as a shire to minimising waste as well as turning waste into a resource.”

However, recyclable materials collected in Hume will be sent to landfill.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Hume council said the situation was “not good enough”.

“We are extremely disappointed and angry to once again be faced with sending our community’s recycling to landfill,” the statement read.

“There is simply no other choice. We cannot stockpile it until an alternative solution is found because, given the quantity, it is simply not safe to do so.

“In 2019 it’s just not good enough. The community has every right to be concerned and demanding answers.

“Hume council has been leading the call for all levels of government to better work together to ensure a sustainable waste and recovery industry in Australia through our Waste Regulation Campaign.”

The council said kerbside collections would continue as normal however has encouraged households to consider how to “reduce and reuse”.

“If it is safe to do so please hold on to your recycling until the situation is resolved.”

SKM spokesman Rob Spence told ABC radio the temporary closure was a result of the EPA’s ban on Glass Recovery Services accepting glass recyclables.

“[SKM] can’t take any more [recycling] without breaching their permits with the EPA.”

SKM provides recycling services for more than 30 councils across the state, collecting about half of Victoria’s kerbside recycling.