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Council urges recycling to continue ahead of upcoming budget

Published on 13 March 2018


Yarra Ranges Council is encouraging residents to continue recycling as much as possible, with recycling services running business as usual despite pressure on the industry.

A policy implemented by China’s General Administration of Customs on 1 January restricts the import of paper, cardboard and plastics that has not been sufficiently sorted, which has placed significant impacts on the recycling industry in Victoria.

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Yarra Ranges Director of Environment and Engineering, Mark Varmalis, said the change in the global recycling market is likely to result in unforseen cost increases to Councils.

“In the Yarra Ranges recycling services for residents are currently unchanged, despite the recent pressure on the recycling industry,” Mr Varmalis said.

“Victoria has an excellent track record for recycling and we’ve avoided sending any recyclable materials to landfill through our provider, VISY, which has been extremely important.

“Unfortunately, China’s new trade measures mean that the costs in processing kerbside recyclables are increasing.

“We are still determining how to minimise these costs, but ratepayers are likely to see an increase in their annual waste charge, represented on their rates notice.”

Before January, China had purchased recyclable materials collected in Victoria and around the globe to meet its manufacturing industry’s need for materials.

The new policy has resulted in recycling processors seeking to reset their contractual arrangements with Councils to reflect the new market conditions.

Victorian Government is providing a $13 million package for 78 Councils and the industry to support kerbside collection of household recyclables until 30 June 2018.  Further detail on how this will be distributed is yet to be received.

“We’ll ensure that any increases in the waste charge will be communicated to residents as part of our annual budget, so we all have time to prepare,” Mr Varmalis said.

“We expect the final arrangement will still be cheaper than disposing of recyclable materials in landfill. This will limit the impact on the waste charge and will be the best environmental outcome.”

Details regarding the waste charge will be available in the Yarra Ranges Council’s 2018/19 draft budget which will be available for public comment via the Council website on 26 April.

Council will provide updates as they become available.

Residents can help in four ways, by:

Read Sustainability Victoria’s recycling tips here.