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Recycling industry impacts

Published on 23 April 2018
  • Environment
  • Waste and recycling

The waste charge for 2018/2019 includes an increase of $59 due to the global recycling crisis.  

Why has the waste charge increased?

The shifts in global recycling markets mean that the cost of processing kerbside recyclables has increased. New pricing arrangements were necessary to ensure that the recycling industry can remain sustainable in the long term. 

What does this mean for Maroondah going forward?

The waste charge increase of $68.50 for a 120 litre service per property in the 2018/19 Budget includes $59 which is the increase associated with the recycling contractual changes. The residual is a result of the contractual increase for rubbish collection (two hard waste collections per household per year, green bin and regular rubbish collection). 

The need to increase the waste charge is disappointing, but it is unavoidable, with every Council in Victoria facing a similar situation.

How much will the waste charge increase by?




$ increase

% increase

80L service





120L service





Can I save money if I downsize to an 80L garbage bin service?

Yes. The 80L garbage service charge for 2018-19 is $270.  This is $54 less than the cost of the 120L garbage service charge for 2018-19 which is $324.

To change the size of your garbage bin contact us on 1300 88 22 33 .

Should I continue to recycle?

Yes. Maroondah residents are great recyclers and you can help by ensuring the wrong items aren’t put in the recycling bin (see more information on what can go in the recycling bin).  Recyclable packaging collected in Maroondah is sent to a sorting facility where the different material types are separated and recycled into a range of different products.

When the wrong items are put in the recycling bin, these items contaminate the recycling stream, break machines and ultimately the processor has to pay to dispose of contamination in landfill, reducing the efficiency of their operations.

What should I do to help?

Here’s a couple of simple steps you can take to help:

  1. Where possible; try to limit how much you consume.  Avoid heavily packaged goods, consider buying in bulk, plan your supermarket trips so that you avoid impulse purchases.
  2. Continue your recycling efforts.
  3. Check what can and can’t be recycled.
  4. Buy products made from recycled materials.  The more people buy recycled goods, the greater the demand for recyclable materials.

Background to the global recycling crisis

As a consequence of China’s new policy regarding the exporting of recyclables, local governments have experienced a significant impact on recycling markets world-wide, which has been well documented in the state and national news.

While most of Victoria’s kerbside recycling material is sorted locally, significant quantities have been exported to China for processing.

With China no longer accepting recycling from Australia, all Victorian Councils are now feeling the impact with recycling processing companies seeking to reset contractual arrangements.

In Maroondah, instead of receiving a rebate of $35 for every tonne of recyclables collected as part of our kerbside collection, it is currently estimated that Council will need to make a significant payment of $150 per tonne, in addition to losing the $35 per tonne income.

The State Government has provided $13 million to support the 79 Victorian Council’s with the cost impact until June 30 2018, which is a short term solution.

Maroondah expects to receive a proportion of this funding. However, to June 30 2018, the unexpected financial impact will be in excess of half a million dollars.

Council investigated a range of options to ensure we could continue to collect recyclable material, and ensure the minimum impact on residents.

Unfortunately we don’t have the means to build our own recycling facility in Maroondah.

However the State Government has a sustainability fund established in 2001 that requires all users of landfill, including the 79 Victorian Councils, to pay a compulsory Waste Landfill Levy contribution.

Maroondah is currently paying the State Government approximately $1.3million per year ($63.28 per tonne) in the Waste Landfill Levy. This equates to approximately $30 per household.

The purpose of the State Government’s Waste Landfill Levy is to improve waste management throughout Victoria by providing ongoing funding to support government, industry and the community to reduce waste and to foster environmentally sustainable use of resources.

The fund currently has half a billion dollars, which would go a long way to investing in a solution to our State’s recycling issues.

For a number of years Maroondah City Council and the Local Government sector have been urging the State Government to use this money to work with industry to provide a sustainable solution on behalf of all municipalities and their residents.

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about what happens to our recycling materials, what Council is doing and more about your waste charges:

FAQs on recycling industry impacts

What you can put in your recycling bin

See what can and can't be accepted

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