Community urged to keep recycling

By Cobram Courier

While the challenges in managing recycling continue for the waste and resource recovery sector, Goulburn Valley residents are being assured recyclables collected from their homes are not going to landfill.

Notices issued by the Environment Protection Authority in mid-February on facilities with safety breaches led to the temporary landfilling of scores of council-collected recyclables, however Goulburn Valley and north-east Victorian councils were not directly impacted by this disruption.

Goulburn Valley Waste and Resource Recovery Group chair Seema Abdullah said it was more important than ever for residents continue to support the waste and resource recovery sector and remain committed to recycling.

‘‘Over the past 25 years we have been successful in achieving positive behaviour in terms of our recycling habits, so we are urging households to continue recycling as usual and to take the time to ensure they are in fact recycling correctly,’’ she said.

‘‘Contamination caused by placing items in your recycling bin that are non-recyclable, impacts the quality of recyclables for reprocessing, so it is important that only items that are accepted through your council’s kerbside collection are placed in your recycling bin.’’

If residents are unsure what can and cannot be placed in their kerbside recycling bin they can check their council’s website for more information on accepted items.

Ms Abdullah said the solution to a sustainable sector required strong partnerships between state and local governments, industry and community.

‘‘Our collective energies are focused not only on short-term action, but also long-term planning that effectively turns the waste and resource recovery sector around and builds resilience to international influences,’’ she said.

‘‘Simple measures that we can all take such as using reusable containers and bags has a significant impact on the amount of waste we send to landfill, the need for recycling and an improved environment.

‘‘Our own efforts are being assisted by strategic investments being made as part of the recycling industry strategic plan.’’

Victorian Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio recently announced the opening of round four of the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund, with grants of between $40000 and $500000 available to support greater sorting, improve recovery, and reprocessing of priority materials including plastic, paper, cardboard and glass.

Research, Development and Demonstration Grants, part of the $4.5million Resource Recovery Market Development Program, are also available.

Sustainability Victoria is looking to support research, development and demonstration projects which increase the quantity of recycled products being sold in Victoria.

The grants provide funding of between $50000 and $200000 (1:1 matched funding) for projects that research product development, demonstrate product performance and test the feasibility of innovative technologies of targeted materials such as glass, paper and cardboard, plastics (flexible and rigid) and/or electronic waste.

For information, people can visit the Sustainability Victoria Website or discuss ideas with GVWRRG staff.