Recycling plant’s temporary closure will affect Colac Otway
February 21, 2019

Colac Otway Shire Council will continue kerbside collections as normal and is encouraging residents to hold their recyclables if possible, in the wake of the SKM Geelong plant’s temporary closure from today.

Council will be unable to take recyclables to the Geelong processor for an estimated two weeks and after looking at options, it will send recyclable material to landfill at Naroghid in the interim.

Council’s Infrastructure and Leisure Services General Manager Tony McGann said all bins including the yellow recycling bins would still be collected.

“However people should consider keeping their recycling over the next two weeks to help reduce the amount of recyclables going to landfill.

“We are asking our residents, that if your recycling bin isn’t full this week, don’t put it out for kerbside collection,” Mr McGann said.

“We are also urging our community to continue to separate their waste because we have all developed this good habit and we hope that in two weeks’ time the SKM plant at Geelong will reopen and recyclable material will be recycled again.

"SKM has advised Council that the EPA had served notices last week for SKM’s Coolaroo and Laverton sites, which require SKM to reduce and reconfigure bales of unprocessed recycling material to address EPA concerns about the ability of fire services to access the facilities and the bales in the event of a fire.

“SKM advised us yesterday that its Geelong site, which receives Colac Otway’s recycling, sends its unprocessed plastics to a plastic-sorting plant at Laverton and because it’s unable to receive material at its Laverton site it is concerned that the Geelong site is at risk of becoming non-compliant with the EPA’s requirements.

"The company advised it would stop receiving Council material at its Geelong site, as of 5pm yesterday.

“Council has looked at options but there are no other viable alternatives at the moment.

“Council has also evaluated whether it could stockpile recyclables during SKM’s temporary closure however this is not possible because Colac Otway does not have a suitable, permitted site for this purpose and we would breach environmental regulations.

“Council will send recyclables to landfill as a temporary arrangement and unfortunately it will be a lost opportunity of recycling this resource,” Mr McGann said.

“The cost to the council will not be significant if the service is reinstated in the near future.”


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