Recycling crisis costs Macedon Ranges an extra $233,000

Macedon Ranges council will wear an extra cost of $233,000 for its recycling service this financial year.

And it is expecting to allocate hundreds of thousands of dollars more to recycling in the upcoming budget.

The council has agreed to pay an additional $136 per tonne of recycling collected in the shire until June 30, which will come out of the $925,000 surplus from its 2017-18 budget.

The increased cost, which the council has been paying since March, has come from the council continuing to use Visy to dispose of recyclables. Visy’s expenses have increased since China upped its standards for taking recyclables from the company.

The council’s assets and operations director Dale Thornton said the council expected a reimbursement of about $85,000 from a state government package.

But Mr Thornton said the government had been “quite clear” that councils were on their own to foot the bill of the increased costs from July 1.

He said the council was negotiating with “everyone” involved, and would put its best estimate of recycling costs in the council’s 2018-19 budget.

Mr Thornton said the council did not expect any further price increases from Visy.

He said the council was also exploring other alternatives for collecting recyclables.

He said in the meantime, residents should continue to recycle, but as always, should cut down on buying products with unnecessary packaging.

“Be conscious of buying things with less wrapping,” he said.