Material from the Peninsula’s kerbside recycling program is being processed again after being sent to landfill for the past three months. Mornington Peninsula Shire began temporarily storing recycled material in February after the EPA served shutdown notices on two of the four SKM processing centres that receive half of Victoria’s kerbside recyclables. However, the shire was later forced to dump the recyclables after its storage reached capacity. At the time, Mayor David Gill described the situation as “extremely disappointing”.
“Sending recyclable material to landfill was always our last resort,” Cr Gill said. “Much like SKM and other councils, the Shire is held to regulatory limits around the amount of material that can be stored and for how long. With no certainty on the availability of a suitable alternative, we are left with no option but to divert all household recycling to landfill until further notice.”
While he was delighted SKM was again able to receive the Peninsula’s recyclables, Cr Gill said the future of the recycling program would rely on a combined effort, including policy change from all levels of government and correct recycling habits from the community. “It’s great to have our recycling back on the right track, but as a community we can’t become complacent.
“The message from council is to recycle right. We need everyone to do their bit in ensuring the correct items are placed in all kerbside and public recycling bins, which are sent to a materials recycling facility where contractors sort items into material types. We’re working closely with SKM to avoid any future disruptions and we are advocating to all levels of government for urgent short and long-term solutions along with reviewing our own processes with a shire-wide waste review.”
Cr Simon Brooks, the shire’s Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Forum representative, said the council would continue to advocate for industry change and support the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Rescue Our Recycling Action Plan, which sets out key actions for all levels of government, including a well-designed container deposit scheme.
Meanwhile, we can take action in our own homes by understanding the waste we generate, how we can avoid it in the first place and how we can reduce our impact on the environment. Learn more about what you can and can’t recycle at www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/recycling