Government Recycling Review

In case you folk were wondering what is going on with recycling nowadays, don’t worry, Australia will continue to recycle. Keep putting your recyclable rubbish in the bins provided by Council. It is a case of ‘Back to the Future’, where Australia will try and go back to how we handled recycling before China took our recyclables.

Resource Flows Recycling

Here is a 3 minute explainer video from The Age on the current position of recycling in Australia.

So all the news about the COAG meeting recycling agreement and all the other news you have been reading is about resetting Australia to reduce, reuse and recycle like we did before China bought our recycling refuse. On that note on the 19th of April Paul Duggan and Jeremy Hunt of BREAZE were invited to a regional recycling taskforce workshop organised to give input to the State Government on formulating a new “Recycling Assistance Package”.  The workshop was held in Ararat.  Victoria generates 8.5 million tonnes of recyclable material and the the industry around this is a 2.2 billion dollar industry. There have been recent changes in recycling locally and globally so Victoria is developing a Strategic Plan for Industry Transition (Recycling Markets). The workshop modelled this as a circular economy where consumption waste led to resource recovery and then manufacturing of products from recycled materials.

Along with municipal officers and councillors, people from the collection and recycled product processing industries we were asked for our feed back on what Victoria was doing well, what challenges and barriers to this process we had observed and what future opportunities there were for the growth and improvement for this industry.

This was a general brainstorming session where we broke up into small groups which discussed and came up with key points on what Victoria was doing well, what challenges we had observed and what opportunities we thought there were. Then we fed these observations into a large group discussion where our ideas were recorded. These ideas will be collated with other regional workshops to feed into the developing a Strategic Plan for Industry Transition (Recycling Markets).

We did feed BREAZE ideas into this plan but we have no guarantees what we suggested will make it into the plan, apart from the fact others from our region had similar ideas.

We found it comforting that the Victorian Public Service was directed by the Victorian Government to update a plan for the recycling industry and that they consulted with people involved in the industry.

We were also pleasantly surprised by the range of and commitment to recycling activities in our region. For instance, MARS may be producing goods in plastic packaging but they go out of their way ensure their production produces no by-products that will go into land-fill. That there is coffee cup recycler in Ballarat. That there are many processes to recycle waste products from agriculture.

Jeremy Hunt
Board member BREAZE