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Regional challenge in recycling plan

Energy Minister Lily d'Ambrosio with Premier Daniel Andrews at Ararat Wind Farm opening.

Energy Minister Lily d’Ambrosio with Premier Daniel Andrews at Ararat Wind Farm opening.

A western Victorian waste-management leader has urged regional communities to make the most of major State Government investment to develop ideas and projects to meet recycling challenges.
Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group executive officer La Vergne Lehmann said the government had put a plan and money on the table and regions needed to respond.
“If local government and the regions can get together and put good-quality projects up we can make a difference. We need to seize opportunities,” she said.
Ms Lehmann made her comments after Environment Minister Lily d’ Ambrosio announced a $37-million Recycling Industry Strategic Plan.
The government package represents a blueprint for ‘a safe, resilient and efficient’ medium to long-term recycling system.
The plan is designed to increase the quality and development of new markets for recycled materials through a procurement or gathering process.
Ms Lehmann said areas of recycling everyone needed to get right in working through the plan were infrastructure, service delivery, procurement of services and education.
“We can either embrace this as an opportunity to do something different, to change dynamics, or continue what we’re doing and not get anywhere,” she said.
“I don’t think business as usual is still an option.
“Let’s all work together and make it work for us.”
Based on the plan, Sustainability Victoria, working with the Department of Treasury and Finance, would help government departments and agencies identify opportunities and, where appropriate, develop targets to increase procurement of recycled material.
It will boost investment in recycling infrastructure through an $8.3-million expansion to a Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund – designed to improve the quality of up to 100,000 tonnes of recycled material.
Market development
A further $2-million will go towards market development for recycled materials by identifying new and innovative uses – boosting a market development program to $4.5-million.
An education program will improve understanding of what can and cannot be recycled, to help reduce the contamination of kerbside recycling. Expectations of the plan are to reduce the amount of contaminated recycling going to landfill by about 40,000 tonnes each year.
A Landfill Levy Relief Program will also receive an $800,000 boost to ensure National Association of Charitable Recyclers can continue to ensure charities focus their efforts on charitable work.
Consumers and waste producers, the resource recovery industry, manufacturers and all levels of government will deliver the plan.
The scheme includes the government’s $13-million temporary relief package announced in February for councils and industry to support the ongoing kerbside collection of household recyclable waste – following China’s decision to restrict the import of recyclable materials.
Ms Lehmann said regions had a significant role to play in helping the plan work.
“It is all very well for us to collect recyclables, but we have to have somewhere to take them,” she said.
“There is little point in collecting this material unless we do something with it.
“So we have to ask ourselves: What opportunities as a region do we have to do that?
“Obviously a challenge for a region like the Wimmera is volume and distance and we have to identify what we can do well.
“What could we do to add to what we already have, considering everything from transport to logistics?
“The light is there but it’s at the end of a fairly long tunnel, so we need to take it step by step.”

The entire July 11, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!


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Posted on Jul 11 2018

Posted by on Jul 11 2018. Filed under Environment, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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