Large stockpiles of combustible recyclable waste materials stored without appropriate separation distances forced EPA officials to shut down SKM Recycling’s Laverton site.

Recycling woes continue across state

July 17, 2019 BY

SKM RECYCLING was ordered to stop accepting recyclable waste at its Laverton site, Environment Protection Authority Victoria revealed last week.

The blow has thrown yet another curveball for local councils around the state, however Surf Coast Shire officials have suggested its closure will have little to no immediate effect on kerbside collection.

The shire took to its Facebook page last Friday to reassure worried ratepayers that despite what they may have heard, it’s “business as usual”.

“Keep sorting your household recycling and putting out your kerbside yellow bins as usual, all existing collections remain unchanged,” the post read.

“As always try to avoid using things which will become waste, and re-use items where possible.”

The mood at City Hall was different, with Geelong mayor Bruce Harwood declaring action needed to be taken to “address the overarching issues facing the recycling industry in Australia”.

City of Greater Geelong director of city services Guy Wilson-Browne said SKM Services Pty Ltd is contracted to process 28,000 tonnes of recyclable material produced in the City of Greater Geelong annually.

“We are now taking action to manage the predicted downstream impacts on our kerbside collection service in the short term. We urge residents to continue sorting and reducing their waste responsibly,” Mr Wilson-Browne said.

“We are also investigating an extensive range of options for long term changes to our municipal waste collection services that will improve the recycling process and provide a better result for our environment.

“We are in contact with SKM and impressing on them the importance of undertaking the required works and the potential impact on our ratepayers.”

EPA officers said an alleged failure by SKM Services Pty Ltd to meet the requirements of the Victorian Waste Management Policy triggered the shutdown.

The recycling plant will still be able to process waste at its Laverton site while the notice is in place, however it will not be authorised to take on new materials until EPA indicates otherwise.