Recycling waste is becoming a mounting problem in Australia. A recent report revealed that bundles of plastic are left unattended in Tasmania, with no outlet.
The plastic rubble problem was thus far taken care of by SKM, Victoria, which was declared insolvent this month. Now with nowhere to go, large municipalities like the Hobart City Council that relied on SKM, have piles of rubbish lying around. The Tasmanian Local Government Association (TLGA) has acknowledged the problem and is looking for an urgent solution to the same.
TLGA president Christina Holmdahl said councils were working to urgently address the growing issue.
“Since that operation [SKM] stopped a few weeks ago, it’s created an issue — not just for the Victorians but also for the Tasmanian councils in the south that relied on that service to process plastics. We are working as quickly as we can to find an alternative solution to the dilemma that the southern councils find themselves in,” she said.
SKM’s Derwent Park site can segregate rubbish into glass, cardboard, steel and plastics. SKM is working at a solution that excludes it Victorian plant operations. As a result, plastics are being stockpiled though glass is being taken care of locally.
While SKM has established contracts for receiving steel and cardboard that do not go through its Victorian operations, plastics are being stockpiled. Glass from the facility can be processed locally.
The Tasmanian Conservation Trust (TCT) however, rubbished the governments’ proclaimed efforts. Trust director Peter McGlone reacted, “Tasmanian councils will have to do what Victorian councils have done and order that recyclables be sent to landfill. Until our councils can provide alternative recycling services, they must immediately cease charging people a recycling fee for this service or reduce the fee.”