– City of Ballarat Infrastructure and Environment Director Terry Demeo
Council is currently working through options to determine our approach for the continued management of our recycling task. A formal report to Council in relation to a recommended position is scheduled for August.
Council has explored all opportunities during other disruptions in the SKM service and has contingency plans with other parties in the event of any further disruption.
Council has had a contract with SKM for a number of years and are aware of their significant investment in upgraded infrastructure to sort and add value to the co-mingled recycling which they receive from almost half of the municipalities across Victoria. Obviously Ballarat is aware of the stockpile fires and the EPA orders relating to stockpiles but we are not in a position to comment beyond what has been reported publicly.
The crisis, for want of a better terminology, in recycling has highlighted a number of things, including a lack of product stewardship, market development and support for research initiatives. Ballarat’s position is that genuine state investment across these areas, and in to infrastructure to service the regions, is the most appropriate long term response required of government. Specifically Ballarat will be pursuing specific State Government support for a regional materials recovery facility (recycling sorting facility), which would go a long way to address the current immediate challenge to the central Victorian recycling task.