The recycling saga has seen waste diverted to landfill at varying times this year.

COGG mayor posts letters calling for recycling action

August 8, 2019 BY

PRESSURE on local councils to rectify the recycling crisis is mounting, with the City of Greater Geelong voting to accelerate its calls on both the federal and state governments to take the wheel.

The state’s recycling system has been thrust into chaos since SKM Recycling stopped accepting recyclable material at all of its sites a fortnight ago.

Waste from both the COGG and the Surf Coast Shire is being dumped in landfill as a result of its closure.

Mayor Bruce Harwood raised an urgent business item during council’s most recent meeting which gained support and will see the mayor issue a series of letters requesting action.

The letters include:
• A letter to the Federal Minister for the Environment requesting that the Australian Sustainable Packaging Guidelines be mandated as a matter of priority;
• A letter to the Victorian Premier calling for the state government to introduce a Container Deposit Scheme as a matter of urgency; and
• A further letter to the Premier calling for the state government to immediately publish guidelines for councils to apply for funding from the State Sustainability Fund that has been established by the EPA Landfill levy.

The city’s mayor said the recycling crisis is a state and Australia-wide issue that required urgent action from all three tiers of government.

“The state government has the ability to make a major impact by investing the huge sum of money in its Sustainability Fund into genuine solutions. This includes releasing money to councils so that we can implement initiatives at a local level,” he said.

“As the only state in Australia without at least a commitment to a Container Deposit Scheme, the state government must also catch up to the rest of the country by getting this vital measure off the ground as soon as possible. Evidence has shown that Container Deposit Schemes are a highly effective way to recoup plastic, aluminium and glass.”

During the meeting, COGG chief executive officer Martin Cutter was requested to produce a report detailing options and costs for alternative solutions by September.

Council also showed its support to the state government’s announcement that it will develop a Circular Economy Policy and Action Plan, which will be released later this year.