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4 Corners Program on waste

Tue 8 August, 2017

Waste and recycling in Banyule

With some Australian waste and recycling procedures in question as a result of ABC Television’s Four Corners report on Monday 7 August, Banyule Council would like to reassure the Banyule community that it takes the stewardship of all the waste it collects, receives and transports very seriously.

Council collects rubbish, green waste and recyclables via kerbside services and its Waste Recovery Centre in Bellfield.

Once Council collects this waste, it transports it to landfill or recycling, with:

  • Landfill waste delivered to the Hanson Landfill at Wollert;
  • Green waste delivered to the Veolia Recycling Facility at Bulla where it is composted for reuse; and
  • Recyclables delivered to the Visy Material Recovery Facility at Heidelberg, with Visy sorting and sending materials for reprocessing at other facilities.

In addition, metals collected are sent for metal recycling and e-waste goes to recycling centres through the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme. 

Banyule Council has also received the following statement from Visy in relation to the ABC Four Corners report:

“Visy sees kerbside recycling as an opportunity for closed loop manufacturing. Visy is uniquely positioned within Australian industry, as both one of Australia’s largest recyclers and a major producer of packaging products, many of which have recycled content.
 
In Australia, Visy annually receives in excess of 850,000 tonnes per annum of material from the kerbside recycling system. Currently the largest volume of material collected in recycling bins is paper, from which Visy produces recycled paper for cardboard products at its papers mills in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
 
From the Australian kerbside recycling system, Visy also receives other recyclable materials, such as glass, aluminium and steel. These materials are generally sold domestically or exported for recycling in the most suitable end markets.
 
With respect to glass specifically, Visy receives in excess of 270,000 tonnes per annum of glass from the Australian kerbside recycling system. Visy has a range of options to process this glass for recycling, both directly and through third party arrangements. Recycled glass can be used for glass bottle manufacturing or blended for use in a range of infrastructure projects. Following processing, there can be residual glass materials that are currently not wanted or usable by the glass manufacturing or infrastructure industries and are therefore uneconomical to process. Visy continues to investigate other opportunities and markets for this material.
 
Visy does receive non-recyclable waste materials from the kerbside recycling system. Consumer behaviour is critical to ensuring that non-recyclable waste materials are not placed in the kerbside recycling bin as these may ruin good recyclable materials and stop them from being recycled. Visy supports councils educating the community to ensure that the right material is placed in the right kerbside bin.

Visy encourages councils and governments at all levels to support the growth of sustainable, domestic markets for recyclable materials including glass, similar to Visy’s local paper manufacturing. This will help to ensure a healthy recycling industry in Australia.”