$300M boost to VIC recycling network

$300M boost to VIC recycling network

The Victorian Government’s four-year Recycling Victoria policy will invest more than $300 million into the state’s waste and recovery sector, including 40.9 million to establish recycling infrastructure in regional areas.

The Victorian Government is delivering the most significant transformation of Victoria’s waste and recycling system in the state’s history with the announcement of the $300m Recycling Victoria policy as part of the Victorian state budget 2020/21.

According to the Victorian Government, it will drive investment in world class infrastructure and technology, create cutting-edge local industries and support 3900 new local jobs.

This four-year, $40.9 million investment will establish a network of regional recycling facilities and improve Victoria’s recycling and transfer station network. Developing these recycling processing sites will create up to 100 ongoing regional jobs.

The policy aims to help Victoria achieve its 2050 target of net zero emissions.

As part of Recycling Victoria, a new Act and Waste Authority will be developed to oversee the sector. Work is also underway on the design of Victoria’s container deposit scheme.

“This investment builds on the once in a generation Recycling Victoria policy announced in February 2020. It will boost recycling in regional areas and contribute to our goal of diverting 80 per cent of waste from landfill by 2030,”  Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning said in a statement.

“The Victorian government is getting on with delivering Recycling Victoria. That includes working closely with councils to implement a new, 4-bin kerbside recycling system with services for glass and organic matter.Overhauling Victoria’s household recycling system will ensure more recyclables are turned in valuable products.”

WMRR CEO, Gayle Sloan said the Victorian government is spending significantly to stimulate economic recovery.

“It has said that the Budget is all about jobs, investment and ensuring we have momentum to take us through 2021; together with the funding for recycling infrastructure, the landfill levy increase can play a key role in meeting these objectives and the industry supports the government’s plan to increase the levy to aid in the state’s efforts to repair and rebuild the economy and communities,” she said.

VIC LANDFILL LEVY DELAYED 

The Victorian government has decided not to progress the January 2021 increase due to COVID impacts.

As it stands, Victoria, particularly in the regional parts of the state, has one of the lowest levy-paying areas in Australia, effectively opening its doors to unnecessary interstate waste transportation.

According to WMRR, an increase of the landfill levy will not only bring it up to par with its neighbouring jurisdictions, it will go a long way in removing the current economic barrier to investing in resource recovery activities, meaning more Victorian jobs.

“We know that industry, governments, and the community want to move towards a more resource efficient society, one that increasingly closes the loop. A low levy hinders that as it would still be cheaper to landfill than recycle, remanufacture, or reprocess,” Sloan said.

“We’ve heard the statistics time and again – 9.2 jobs are created for every 10,000 tonnes of waste recycled compared to 2.8 jobs for the same volume sent to landfill. Increasing the landfill levy as planned sends the right price signal to drive recycling. Importantly, it will encourage greater investment and innovation in resource recovery and recycling, which in turn will further boost growth of local businesses and jobs that are necessary when we know that some 290,000 jobs have been lost because of the pandemic.”

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