There has been considerable changes in the recycling industry in Australia during the past two months.
The China ban on the importing of recyclables on 1 January 2018 aims to improve recovery and reuse of domestic solid waste while restricting the import of contaminated paper, cardboard and plastics. The policy has severely disrupted recycling markets worldwide with significant impacts on Victoria.
The policy most directly impacts kerbside recycling services, as recyclables from households are usually on-sold in a mixed form. While most of Victoria's kerbside recyclable material is processed in Victoria or Australia, significant quantities are exported to China for processing meaning the new restrictions are already having impacts on recycling processors. This market impact coincides with tighter stockpiling restrictions being enforced to reduce the risk of fire.
- Residents are urged to continue recycling as usual.
- West Wimmera Shire Council can confirm that recycling services remain unchanged despite recent pressure faced by the recycling industry.
- Residents should continue to put their recycling bins out on their regular collection day.
- While we have avoided sending recycling to landfill, changes in global recycling markets have resulted in unforeseen cost increases for West Wimmera Shire Council.
- Shifts in global recycling markets, triggered by China's new trade measures, mean that the cost of processing kerbside recyclables has increased.
- To ensure continuity of recycling collection and processing services, West Wimmera Shire Council ratepayers should prepare for an increase in their waste management charges in the new financial year. While unfortunate, this increase is necessary to ensure a quality service is maintained for residents.
- Council will seek to minimise this increase, which has been brought about by changed market conditions.
- Victorians have a great record when it comes to recycling and it is crucial that we all maintain our great recycling behaviours built over the years.
- It has never been more important for all Victorians to minimise the waste they produce - whether it is recyclable or otherwise.
There are four ways residents can help:
- Prevent waste from the start. Try to limit how much you consume. Using reusable drink bottles and coffee cups is a great start.
- Continue to recycle as normal. We will inform you of any changes in your kerbside collection service.
- Know what you can and can't recycle. If in doubt, find out.
- Buy Australian recycled products. Recycled office paper and toilet paper are easy ways to start.
The Victorian Government is providing a $13 million package for councils and industry to support the ongoing kerbside collection of household recyclable material up until 30 June 2018.
To assist the recycling industry reset in the medium to long-term, the Victorian Government is establishing a recycling industry taskforce to develop a strategic plan for industry transition.
West Wimmera Shire Council will be closely monitoring the situation during the next few months and will keep residents informed of further changes.Council wishes to reassure residents that the kerbside recycling service will continue as normal.
If residents have any concerns they can contact the Council offices on 5392 7700 or 5585 9900 for any further information.