Recycling rethink invites community input
A tax on new plastics, a ban on certain packaging types and a container deposit scheme are just some of the ideas highlighted in a new a paper examining how the City of Melbourne can continue processing recyclable materials in the face of global industry changes.
The City of Melbourne recently released a discussion paper, ‘Current recycling challenges’, which explores the issues and possible solutions for Victoria’s waste and recycling industry.
China’s implementation of a restriction on waste imports has caused significant and rapid change in global recycling markets. The impact of these changes has reached the City of Melbourne, where over-supply as reduced the value of recycled materials and it now costs more to sort and process recyclables from kerbside collections.
Chair of the Environment portfolio Councillor Cathy Oke says it’s important to keep recycling and minimising waste while a longer term solution is found.
“We are calling on the state and federal governments to invest in recycling infrastructure that provides cost effective and environmentally beneficial solutions,” Oke says.
“Improved local waste and recycling infrastructure would mean more jobs and reduced transport costs.
“In the meantime we need to continue reducing our reliance on single use items like disposable coffee cups, straws and packaging, as well as purchasing items made from recyclable materials and exploring other avenues for waste and resource recovery.”
Oke says feedback on ‘Current recycling challenges’ would help inform the Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030.
“Many governments around the world are dealing with the same challenges and have announced incentives to reduce waste or ban certain plastic items. We are looking for a purpose fit solution for City of Melbourne residents, businesses, workers and visitors, so we need feedback on what will work for them,” she says.
The community is invited to submit opinions, ideas and feedback via City of Melbourne’s Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy Participate website. Additional discussion papers will be released over the coming weeks.