Kerbside recycling in the Swan Hill municipality is continuing as normal.
Recent media reports have highlighted pressures impacting the recycling industry, after China made significant changes to laws around importing recyclable materials.
Swan Hill Rural City Council Chief Executive Officer John McLinden said Council was monitoring the situation carefully and urged residents to continue recycling as normal, saying local collection services would remain unchanged.
“Kerbside recycling from our region is currently processed at the Echuca Materials Recovery Facility and that facility is very much business as usual at this point in time,” he said.
“We have been in contact with our contractor Veolia and they have advised that this issue has been on their radar for a number of months, namely since China made significant changes to the laws around importing recyclable materials.
“The changes to China’s import laws mean they can no longer accept unsorted, dirty or contaminated plastics or mixed paper and cardboard, which is how kerbside recycling services are usually on-sold.
“And what this means for Australia is that a lot of product destined for China has been diverted, resulting in the saturation of other world markets.
“While our contractor has been able to sell a majority of the recyclable material to local markets, it does have a flow on effect.
“So now, it is more important than ever that we recycle responsibly and correctly, with zero contamination. This means double checking that all items that go in to your recycle bin can in fact be recycled, are clean and can be safely handled, like no broken glass, or exposed tin can lids.”
Mr McLinden said while there was no immediate impact to our region, the situation could change and Council would advise residents if any changes to local collections occurred.
Victorians have a great record when it comes to recycling. Since 2001, the amount of recyclable household material diverted from landfill has increased by 70 per cent. And overall, Victoria recovers up to 70 per cent of its waste, with almost eight million tonnes of material being diverted from landfill each year.
This situation is also a timely reminder that one of the most important ways to keep resources out of landfill is to buy recycled products back. This can be as simple as choosing Australian-made recycled office paper and toilet tissue made from 100 percent Australian recycled paper for your household or workplace.