While the challenges in managing recycling continue for the waste and resource recovery sector, Goulburn Valley residents are being assured recyclables collected from their homes are not going to landfill.
Notices issued by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in mid-February on facilities with safety breaches led to the temporary landfilling of scores of council collected recyclables, however Goulburn Valley and North Eastern Victorian Councils were not directly impacted by this disruption.
Goulburn Valley Waste and Resource Recovery Group (GVWRRG) Chair Seema Abdullah said it was more important than ever that residents continue to support the waste and resource recovery sector and remain committed to recycling.
“Over the past 25 years we have been successful in achieving positive behaviour in terms of our recycling habits, so we are urging households to continue recycling as usual and to take the time to ensure they are in fact recycling correctly,” Ms Abdullah said.
“Contamination caused by placing items in your recycling bin that are non-recyclable, impacts the quality of recyclables for reprocessing, so it is important that only items that are accepted through your council’s kerbside collection are placed in your recycling bin,” she said.
If residents are unsure what can and cannot be placed in their kerbside recycling bin they can check their council’s website for more information on accepted items.
Ms Abdullah said the solution to a sustainable sector required strong partnerships between state and local governments, industry and community.
“Our collective energies are focused not only on short-term action, but also long-term planning that effectively turns the waste and resource recovery sector around and builds resilience to international influences.
“Simple measures that we can all take such as using reusable containers and bags has a significant impact on the amount of waste we send to landfill, the need for recycling and an improved environment.
“Our own efforts are being assisted by strategic investments being made as part of the Recycling Industry Strategic Plan,” Ms Abdullah said.
The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, recently announced the opening of round four of the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund, with grants of between $40,000 and $500,000 available to support greater sorting, improve recovery, and reprocessing of priority materials, including; plastic, paper, cardboard and glass.
Round 4 applications are now open with a total of $4 million available.
This announcement was accompanied by a further opportunity through Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Grants part of the $4.5 million Resource Recovery Market Development Program.
Sustainability Victoria is looking to support research, development and demonstration projects that can increase the quantity of recycled products being sold in Victoria.
The RD&D Grants provide funding of between $50,000 to $200,000 (1:1 matched funding) for projects that research product development, demonstrate product performance and test the feasibility of innovative technologies of targeted materials such as glass, paper and cardboard, plastics (flexible and rigid) and/or electronic waste.
Interested parties are invited to learn more about the timing and information sessions for these opportunities by visiting the Sustainability Victoria Website and discussing their ideas with GVWRRG staff who can further advise.