Recycling in Yarra 2019: information and initiatives

Tuesday 06 August 2019

Person putting a plastic bottle in a recycling bin

Yarra Council is not impacted by SKM’s decision to stop accepting recyclable materials, so we encourage you to continue recycling. Here is some information on what happens to your recycling, as well as other sustainability initiatives we are investigating.

Which company manages recycling in Yarra?

Materials currently collected in Yarra’s kerbside recycling bin are transported to Polytrade in Dandenong for processing.

What happens to our recycled goods?

The recycling is separated into categories including paper, cardboard, glass bottles/containers, metals, plastics and any contamination (e.g. household rubbish).

  • Paper and cardboard is generally sent overseas.
  • Better quality glass from bottles/containers is used by local glass manufacturers to make new glass containers.
  • Poorer quality glass is now being used as a replacement for virgin sand in asphalt mix by the civil industry.
  • Metals are used by local metal recyclers.
  • Plastics are currently sent overseas. Any plastics that cannot currently be recycled go to landfill (these are mainly plastics that are mixed with other materials, such as PVC, and cannot be easily recycled).
  • Any contamination removed from the kerbside recycling is sent to landfill by the processor.

What else is Yarra City Council doing?

We have a strong ongoing focus on waste minimisation. We also understand that exporting kerbside recyclables – like paper, cardboard and plastics – is not sustainable in the long-term. So we are exploring solutions for a more sustainable kerbside recycling industry.

Yarra’s Waste Revolution trial

We are currently trialling changes to our waste and recycling services in parts of Abbotsford. The trial asks residents to separate their food and green waste from their landfill waste, and their glass from their co-mingled recycling.

Food and organic waste is being composted for reuse, glass is being reused for new glass items or road base and the co-mingled recycling items are being processed in Australia. We’re going to be using what we’ve thrown out, to create what we need. It’s called the circular economy.

This trial will last for about 12 months and following this, we will consider expanding the service throughout Yarra.

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