Council's recycling update 27 August 2019

Recycling Bin

Council was advised on Friday 2 August that the Victorian Supreme Court ruled that SKM Corporate, which is a part of SKM Recycling's business, has been declared insolvent. 

This is a complex matter and we are seeking clarity and advice about the implications of the court order for Council's contract with SKM Recycling.

What does this mean for Hobsons Bay? For now, our kerbside household recycling bins are still being collected fortnightly. However, as a result of SKM’s temporary closure, recyclables collected from yellow lidded bins are unfortunately going to landfill.

For more information on the SKM court order, visit the ABC News website.

General Recycling Questions 

What is happening to my recycling?

In July 2019, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) ordered SKM Recycling (SKM) to stop receiving recyclable materials at their glass recycling facility. The EPA observed a large volume of glass waste at the site that had been contaminated with other types of waste, such as mixed plastics and paper that resulted in an increased fire risk within stockpiles. The health and safety of the community must remain the priority.

This in turn has meant that SKM have closed its four recycling processing facilities in Laverton, Coolaroo, Geelong and Hallam until further notice. 

Will my recycling bin still be collected?

Council is still maintaining its regular collection service.

When will my recycling bin be collected?

Recycling bins will be collected as normal on your usual recycling collection day. 

Is the collected recyclable material being sent to landfill?

Unfortunately, yes, the collected recyclable material will be going to landfill, along with material from many other council areas in Melbourne. We understand this comes as a disappointment to our community. We also share this disappointment and we are working hard on a solution to this issue, as are the many other affected councils across Melbourne.

I don’t want my recycling going to landfill this week, what can I do?

Council is encouraging residents whose bins are not full to give their recycling collection a miss and store their recyclables.

To create more room in your recycling bin, squash your plastic bottles and aluminium and steel cans and paper and cardboard.

You could also take your paper and cardboard to One Paper at 32 Plummer Road, Laverton North. Paper and cardboard takes up most of the room in an average household recycling bin so dropping this off to One Paper will allow more room for things like bottles and cans. One Paper accepts paper and cardboard Monday to Friday between 8am and 4pm. Visitors must report to their office and will be directed where the paper and cardboard can be placed.

Taking soft plastics to drop off points at Coles and Woolworths supermarkets for recycling is also another way to keep recycling during these uncertain times. Types of soft plastics accepted includes plastic shopping bags, bread bags or pasta, rice or frozen food bags. For more information and a full list of what can and can’t be recycled via Coles or Woolworths visit https://www.redcycle.net.au/what-to-redcycle/

For metal recycling, residents are encouraged to use Southern Cross Metal Recyclers 24-hour monitored drop off service at 75 Doherty's Road Laverton North. For more information and a full list of accepted items visit https://www.southerncrossmetalrecyclers.com.au/drop-off/

What else can I do?

Hobsons Bay residents can also try to minimise the amount of waste they produce in the first place by shopping smart and avoiding unnecessary packaging. Using reusable drink bottles, bags and coffee cups are great ways to start.

What does the Victorian Supreme Court ruling regarding SKM mean for recycling?

On 2 August, the Victorian Supreme Court ruled, that a part of SKM’s business be declared insolvent. This is a complex matter and we are seeking clarity and advice about the implications of the court order.

How long will this last?

At this stage we are uncertain how long this will last. There is no viable option for the short term storage and management of our city’s recyclable material. Council has been working with the state government and service providers on immediate options, as well as long term solutions to manage recycling services for our households. We will keep our community updated as soon as we are able.