Council responds to recycling provider wage theft allegations

Yarra City Council responded at their meeting last night to recent media reports alleging wage theft at Polytrade, the service provider for Yarra kerbside recycling processing.

Council is deeply concerned about the allegations and is committed to seeing the matter addressed.

Workplace safety and fair pay and conditions is an expectation Yarra Council has of all its contracted service providers.

The small market of recycling processing was noted by Council and further work will be undertaken in coming months to explore the options for and viability of establishing or advocating for a publicly-owned recycling provider.

Council resolution 8 October 2019, Item 9.1

That Council:

(a) notes a recent media report alleging wage theft at Polytrade, the service provider to Yarra for kerbside recycling processing;

(b) notes our commitment to safe workplaces and fair pay, including those of our contractors;

(c) resolves to write to Polytrade expressing our deep concern and seeking a meeting with the Polytrade CEO and/or senior executive to address this matter;

(d) notes that there are only three companies processing municipal recycling in Victoria and that one of them is currently being liquidated;

(e) notes that waste management is a shared responsibility with the state government and that the state government has over $400 million in landfill levy funds in its sustainability fund, much of which remains unspent;

(f) advocates for state government to establish a publicly-owned recycling processor; and

(g) receives a report from officers within three months on the viability and options for establishing, or advocating for, a publicly-owned recycling provider, or similar in partnership with other councils, as a possible solution to ongoing challenges in the waste and recycling sector.

/Public Release. View in full here.