The City of Boroondara, through its recycling collection contractor Cleanaway, has been able to secure a contract with VISY to receive and process 100 per cent of the City’s kerbside recycling collections.
This will commence Monday 5 August and means recyclable material will not be sent to landfill. The new arrangements will apply for the remainder of Council’s contract with Cleanaway until 2022.
Under previous arrangements, Cleanaway, was taking Boroondara’s recyclables to SKM for processing.
With the uncertainty around SKM’s capacity to accept and process recycling, Council officers have worked with Cleanaway to provide service continuity to the Boroondara community and minimise recycling going to landfill.
“Council staff have worked for many weeks with Cleanaway to coordinate a solution which avoids sending kerbside recycling collections to landfill and today, I am happy to say this hard work has paid off”, said Mayor of Boroondara Cr Jane Addis.
Council wasn’t in a position to disclose work behind the scenes as this would have jeopardised negotiations and weeks of hard work would have gone to waste.
This arrangement will help Council avoid bearing additional landfill costs for sending recyclables to landfill.
“Our community doesn’t want us to send recycling to landfill as this would have been ethically and financially irresponsible”, said Cr Addis.
With many Councils still being forced to send recycling to landfill, Boroondara calls on the Victorian Government to outline their long term plan for Victoria’s recycling industry. One of the factors in the current recycling crisis is the inability of Victoria’s current infrastructure to manage all of the state’s recyclable materials.
“While pleased to find this solution, Council maintains its position that the Victorian Government must be more proactive with its $500 million sustainability fund, collected as a waste levy from all Victorians. A long term plan for recycling in this state is needed”, said Cr Addis.
“A system which relies on shipping waste overseas, recyclable or not, is not sustainable”, added Cr Addis.
Boroondara residents play a critical role in reducing the amount of waste produced in homes, offices and businesses. Council’s website has useful resources to help reduce the amount of overall household waste and to avoid creating waste in the first place:
- A to Z recycling and waste guide: if you have an unwanted item and you’re not sure what to do with it, use this simple guide to find the best way to deal with it
- top tips to reduce items in your recycling bin.
Residents also need to remain vigilant about avoiding contamination in recycling. Some tips for this include:
- scrape all food scraps and residue off recycling before putting it in the recycling bin
- don’t put soft plastics (plastic bags, plastic food wrappers, etc) in the recycling bin
- don’t put recycling into plastic bags - put loose items into the recycling bin for the processor to sort (items in plastic bags do not get sorted or recycled).
If you’re uncertain if an item is a soft/flexible plastic, a good rule of thumb is this: if you can scrunch the plastic into a ball in your hand, it’s a flexible plastic and needs to go in general waste, or better still, recycle at the supermarket at Coles or Woolworths. If not, it’s hard plastic that can go into your recycling bin loose (e.g. plastic bottles).
Contaminated recycling is a major worldwide issue. Processors charge contamination penalties, which in Council’s case can reach can up to $300,000 a year. These costs ultimately flow back to residents via the waste charge. Guidance about what goes in your recycling is available on the recycling bin page of Boroondara's website.
Council remains committed to proactively implementing initiatives for sustainable waste management, such as the introduction of a food organics and garden organics waste service (FOGO), which will be implemented next year.
Please call Eren Cakmakkaya, Media and Advocacy Specialist at the City of Boroondara, on 0481 912 411.