Our response to statewide recycling crisis

Friday, 26 July 2019

Our recycling processor, SKM Recycling is now unable to accept materials due to challenges managing its stockpiles according to EPA requirements.

Sadly, for us and a significant number of Victorian councils, this means in the short term our recyclable materials will be going to landfill.

Collection services will continue as usual, however we ask that you only put your recycling bin out if it is full.

Our Resource Recovery Centres in Drysdale and North Geelong will continue to accept domestic quantities of separated paper and metals.

We have been aware of issues in our recycling system and have identified potential solutions at a local level.

We are investigating the costs and impacts of a number of realistic short and medium-term solutions and will be implementing these as quickly as possible.

This includes options for community recycling hubs, on-call recycling collection services, and converting yellow lid bins to paper and cardboard collection only. Paper and cardboard makes up 40% of recyclable materials collected, and is a sellable product when separated from other materials.

The following comments can be attributed to City of Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood:

This crisis is a state-wide problem and needs to be addressed urgently by the Victorian Government.

We call on the state government to draw from the more than half a billion dollar Sustainability Fund and invest in the infrastructure that will fix this crisis.

We are in unity with local governments across Victoria in the push for serious government investment in domestic recycling, state and federal policy change and significant legislative action.

This must include the introduction of a container deposit scheme in Victoria and legislation to reduce the amount and type of products used in manufacturing, as well as serious investigation into building a Waste to Energy plant.

As outlined in the Municipal Association of Victoria’s ‘Rescue our Recycling’ campaign, there are clear actions we need to take at all levels of government.

The community has a fundamental role in reducing the impact of this recycling crisis.

One of the most effective ways to fix the problem is to reduce our waste in the first instance – buy less packaging, reuse and repurpose. Reducing our waste is now more important than ever.
We have realistic some short and medium term recycling solutions on the table for serious consideration, but they all require strong commitment from our community to do the right thing.

We are all sick and tired of this crisis, and I believe that the people of Geelong are ready to make changes in their behaviour to do whatever we can to build a more sustainable recycling system.

We will keep our website up to date with any new information for the community.

Page last updated: Friday, 9 August 2019