Recycling update

Recycling services for Glen Eira residents remain unchanged and residents are urged to continue recycling as usual. With recent changes to the global recycling industry, it’s more important than ever that we recycle the right items in the correct way to ensure the recycling process is as efficient as possible. For more information on this issue, see the following Frequently Asked Questions.

What is the issue?

The National Sword Policy implemented by China’s General Administration of Customs on
1 January 2018 aims to improve recovery and reuse of domestic recyclable waste while restricting the import of contaminated paper, cardboard and plastics. The Policy has severely disrupted recycling markets worldwide with significant impacts being felt in Victoria.

The Policy impacts kerbside recycling services, as recyclables from households are usually on-sold in a mixed form. While most of Victoria’s kerbside recyclable material is processed in Victoria or Australia, significant quantities are exported to China for processing, meaning the new restrictions are having impacts on recycling processors.

Recycling processors will most likely seek to reset contractual arrangements with councils to better reflect current market conditions.

Why do we send material to China?

In recent years, China has purchased recyclable material recovered in Victoria (and across the globe) to meet their need for feedstock for manufacturing.

Should I continue to recycle?

Yes. Glen Eira residents’ should remain diligent recyclers while current issues are addressed.

It is now more critical than ever for residents to correctly sort their recycling for kerbside collection. Residents can also try to minimise the amount of waste they produce in the first place — shop smart and avoid unnecessary packaging (using reusable drink bottles and coffee cups are great ways to start).

To find out what can and cannot be recycled, check our webpage — What goes in my bin: Recycling

As a Glen Eira resident, where does my recycling go?

Glen Eira’s recyclable material goes to our contractor SKM’s recycling transfer facility in Hallam. It’s then sent to SKM’s Material Recover Facility (MRF) at Laverton where they separate the comingled recycling into specific types of product and grade them according to quality. Recyclable materials are processed and sold to manufacturers both in Australia and overseas.

What is Council doing to address the challenges facing industry?

Glen Eira City Council is working with our contractor SKM to ensure that efficient recycling continues and that pricing for recycling services reflect current market conditions.

What is the Victorian Government doing to address the challenges facing the recycling industry?

The Victorian Government is providing a $13 million package in the short-term for councils and industry to support the ongoing kerbside collection of household recyclable material up until 30 June 2018.

What can I do to assist?

There are four ways residents can help:

  • Prevent waste from the start. Better than reusing or recycling is avoiding the use of the product in the first place. Try to limit how much you consume for example, use reusable drink bottles and coffee cups.
  • Continue to recycle as normal. We will inform you of any changes in your kerbside collection service.
  • Know what you can and can’t recycle.  If in doubt, find out. Check our webpage — What goes in my bin: Recycling
  • Buy Australian recycled products. Recycled office paper and toilet paper are easy ways to start.