THE state government has announced a $37 million package that will increase the quality of recycled materials in Victoria and develop new markets for them.
The Recycling Industry Strategic Plan is a blueprint for a safe, resilient and efficient recycling system in the medium to long term.
The state government will help drive greater demand for products containing recycled materials through procurement.
Sustainability Victoria, in consultation with the Department of Treasury and Finance, will assist government departments and agencies to identify opportunities and, where appropriate, develop their own targets to increase procurement of recycled content.
It will boost investment in recycling infrastructure through an $8.3 million expansion to the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund, which will improve the quality of up to 100,000 tonnes of recycled material.
Another $2 million will go towards market development for recycled materials by identifying new and innovative uses, boosting the current market development program to $4.5 million.
An education program will improve understanding of what can and can’t be recycled, to help reduce the contamination of kerbside recycling, potentially reducing the amount of contaminated recycling going to landfill, by around 40,000 tonnes each year.
“We’re delivering a new plan for the future of recycling in Victoria – to reduce waste and costs to households, and build a more resilient recycling sector,” Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said.
Sustainability Victoria will highlight the value of recycling electronic material ahead ofan e-waste-to-landfill ban that takes effect on July 1, 2019.
Last week, Sustainability Victoria acting chief executive officer Jonathan Leake said electronic waste (e-waste) was growing up to three times faster than general municipal waste in Australia.
“Recycling captures valuable metals like copper, silver, gold, aluminium and other metals, as well as plastics and glass so they can be re-used in the next wave of technology rather than mining or making new materials.”
At the moment, at least 90 per cent of a computer, television or mobile phone can be recovered and re-used.