THE Colac Otway Shire has found a short-term alternative to sending its recyclables to landfill, following the sudden closure of SKM’s Geelong plant.
The EPA forced SKM’s Laverton and Coolaroo sites to close last month, and the company then had to close the Geelong site due to it reaching capacity.
Some councils have had to divert their recycled material into landfill as a result.
However, Colac Otway infrastructure and leisure services general manager Tony McGann said the council’s waste contractor Wheelie Waste fortunately had been able to take the shire’s recyclable material to its own contracted recycler as an interim measure.
“We expected to be in the same situation as other councils in the area, with our recyclables having to go to landfill.
“However, our waste contractor found us a shortterm recycling option which has assisted greatly in reducing the projected amount of recyclables going to landfill.
“Wheelie Waste has saved about 85 tonnes of recyclables from going to landfill since SKM temporarily closed its doors.
“The cost of depositing the material through Wheelie Waste’s contractor rather than sending the recyclables to landfill saved Council about $6,000.”
He said the shire thanked the community who kept their recycling bins back from their fortnight collection and made an effort to reduce the amount of recyclable materials.
“Council is hopeful that its interim recycling arrangement will continue until SKM re-opens its Geelong plant, however this is unconfirmed.
“The SKM closures have emphasised the need for everyone to continue reducing waste and packaging, even if it can be recycled.
“Separating our waste is essential but as consumers we need to make smarter choices to reduce the amount of material and packaging that needs to be recycled as well as buying recycled goods whenever we can to make sure there is a market for our recyclable material.”