Recycling costs hit home

Rises in Council charges are inevitable in Victoria to cover recycling costs, despite a $13 million support package from the Victorian Government, the Municipal Association of Victoria says.

While welcoming the assistance, MAV CEO Rob Spence said the money to help cover new fees set by local recyclers following China’s ban on certain recycling imports was a short-term measure.

​“We are pleased the Victorian Government has stepped in with short-term assistance to help ensure recycling can continue to be picked up from households.

“This will assist councils to avoid withdrawing funds from other essential community services to pay the increased recycling fees.

“However beyond 30 June, affected councils will need to pass on the new costs imposed by the recycling industry to residents through the waste management charge that appears on rates notices or through the rate for those councils without a waste charge.

“The recycling crisis will equate to a rate rise of between 1.1 and 2.5 per cent for ratepayers. This will be on top of any annual rate rise, which cannot exceed the State’s rate cap.

“For councils that do not have a waste management charge, we are hopeful the Essential Services Commission will grant them an exemption to increase their rates to cover the new recycling fees … The most important action that households can take is to ensure they follow the instructions provided by their council about what can go into their recycling bin.”