Updated Sat at 2:56am
The TLGA says it is “business as usual” at the Hobart facility despite plastic piling up.
ABC News: Jessica Hayes
Bales of plastic are piling up in a Tasmanian recycling depot, as local governments across the state’s south scramble to find somewhere to send the product.
- Plastics previously sent interstate are being stockpiled in Hobart
- The Local Government Association is “confident” of a resolution
- Councils are being urged to waive or reduce recycling fees
The Tasmanian Local Government Association has confirmed plastics which were previously sent to Victoria for processing are now being stockpiled.
It comes after recycling company SKM was declared insolvent earlier this month, and an announcement by the Commonwealth that it plans to phase in a ban on the export of recyclable waste overseas.
Several large municipalities, including the Hobart City Council, are among the Tasmanian councils which send recyclables to SKM’s Derwent Park facility in Hobart.
TLGA president Christina Holmdahl said councils were working to urgently address the growing issue.
Photo Christina Holmdahl is confident the Local Government Association will be able to resolve the recycling 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,” she said.
“We are working as quickly as we can to find an alternative solution to the dilemma that the southern councils find themselves in.
“There’s no doubt there is concern because of what’s happened in Victoria.
“It is very early days because this scenario really only developed earlier this week for Tasmania.
“We are confident that we will be able to resolve this issue, and a number of other operators are being contacted and discussions are happening to ensure we can ensure the recyclable materials are properly processed.”
Ms Holmdahl said it was “always desirable to avoid the storing of recyclables like plastics”.
“We’re encouraging Tasmanians to continue to recycle because there will be a solution as quickly as it can be agreed on,” she said.
“The main concern is that if the mechanics that we want to put into place to ensure that we don’t have to go to landfill, if they take longer, then we would obviously store those materials.”
The TLGA insisted it was “business as usual” at the Hobart facility, despite growing volumes of recyclable materials there.
Photo SKM Recycling was declared insolvent in the Supreme Court of Victoria earlier this month.
The Derwent Park site has the capacity to sort waste into glass, cardboard, steel and plastics.
While SKM has established contracts for receiving steel and cardboard that do not go through its Victorian operations, plastics are being stockpiled.