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Frequently asked questions on the recycling industry crisis

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

See what can and can't be put in your recycling bin

Is recycling in Maroondah going to landfill?

No.  Maroondah City Council is committed to keeping recycling out of landfill and continuing the recycling of waste collected from the kerbside.

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, and 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.

Is Maroondah affected by the recent closure of SKM?

We would like to reassure the community that Maroondah City Council has not been impacted by the closure of SKM recycling. 

We have a contract with Polytrade Recycling that continues to operate as normal to collect and sort our community’s recycling.  Please continue to recycle as normal.

What impact has the crisis had on the waste charge?

The waste charge increased by 26.6% in 2018-19. This increase ensured that recycling in Maroondah continued to be sorted and recycled following the shift in recycling markets after the introduction China’s new trade measures. 

Following the renegotiation of the recycling processing contract in 2018-19 the waste charge will not increase in the 2019-20 budget.

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.

What services are included in the waste charge?

The waste charge covers the cost of providing the kerbside garbage, recycling and garden organics collections, two on-call hard waste collections and provision of public place litter bin service.

What is Council doing?

Council continues to work with our recycling contractors to ensure that pricing for the recycling services reflect current market conditions.  Council has sought to minimise costs to residents, however, new pricing arrangements following the market crash in 2018 were necessary to ensure that the recycling industry can remain sustainable in the long term. 

What is the recycling industry doing?

The recycling industry is investing in further sorting technology and are changing the way they sort plastics and paper/cardboard to remove items that shouldn’t be there.  Processors are also investing in and installing new technology to further process plastics to the form required for sale using international markets

Is recycling from Maroondah being stockpiled?

Yes.  Some paper/cardboard and mixed plastics collected from Maroondah had been stockpiled following China’s policy of no longer accepting recyclable material with more than 0.5% contamination.  As the market continues to strengthen these materials are being sold for recycling.

Why does recyclable material go to China?  Why can’t we recycle the materials in Australia?

China has purchased recyclable material recovered in Victoria (and world-wide) to meet their need for feedstock for manufacturing. There is a much lower demand for recyclable materials in Victoria as we have a smaller local manufacturing market.

What recyclable materials from Maroondah were being sent to China?

  • Paper and cardboard
  • Plastics (5% processed locally)

What portion of Maroondah’s recycling ends up overseas?

Approximately 50% of the materials collected.

20/06/2018
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