Councils forced to send recycling to landfill as major contractor ceases operations

Victorian councils are facing the possibility of sending recycling to landfill after the state’s largest recycling contractor ceased accepting recyclables last month.

SKM Recycling saw an influx of recyclables after China stopped accepting a majority of Australia’s recycling due to contamination, pushing the processor ’s storage capacity to the limit.

SKM told Victorian councils last month that it would no longer be able to accept their recyclables as they had reached maximum capacity after the Environment Protection Authority issued notices for the company to close a number of sites due to non-compliance with stockpile regulations earlier this year.

The company has since been declared insolvent in the Supreme Court of Victoria, as it owed more than $5.5 million to creditors and was unable to pay them.

This has left more than 30 Victorian councils without a recycling processor, including neighbouring Pyrenees and Hepburn shire councils.

The news comes less than a month after the Pyrenees Shire Council announced ratepayers would have to pay to deposit recyclables at transfer stations, as council was faced with increasing recycling costs.

A statement released by the Pyrenees Shire Council at the end of last month noted the “significant volatility” in the recycling market and stated there are limited options available for processing recyclable material in Victoria.

For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, August 20


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