Pressure is mounting on the Victorian government to inject more cash into the state’s recycling sector to prevent a collapse of the industry amid concerns a major firm will close its doors.
SKM Recycling collects about half of the state’s kerbside recycling, but founder Giuseppe Italiano has flagged he is going to shut this week, leaving the waste in limbo.
The company has had a series of fires at its Melbourne facilities, leading to a crackdown from authorities and the likely closure.
More than 30 local councils currently have contracts with SKM and ratepayers in these municipalities are expected to foot the bill to send their recycling to landfill.
“We as ratepayers would pay for it to go to landfill … we would ask that obviously going to landfill is a last resort,” Cr Ross said.
“If this material does have to go to landfill, we would certainly seek that the government does not impose the landfill levy (on councils).”
‘We as ratepayers would pay for it to go to landfill … we would ask that obviously going to landfill is a last resort.’
A container deposit scheme could be considered by the Labor government, she added.
Victorian Labor minister Jacinta Allan said the state government had already invested $135 million to help councils deal with waste.
“The government has already been working on bringing alternative industry players into this sector and also working with local governments about what alternatives are available to them,” she told reporters on Sunday.
Opposition spokesman David Davis labelled the recycling crisis a “predictable fiasco”.
In recent times, the firm has been plagued by problems including growing waste stockpiles that exceed licence limits and fires creating toxic smoke.
The recycling woes have been fuelled after China restricted recycling imports last year, forcing some Victorian councils to send recycling waste to landfill.