Recycling – the current situation in a nutshell

The global recycling crisis is hard to ignore and we wanted to take the opportunity to be as transparent as possible about the situation and let our clients and business partners know how things currently stand.

Here is a glimpse into some of the major items that have been making headlines these days (it’s not all doom and gloom!) and our response to them.  KS Environmental is committed to seeking solutions to enable our business practices to remain as environmentally responsible as possible.

recycling from Malaysia1. Plastics sent back from Malaysia

Since the big crackdown on recyclables in China, Malaysia has unwittingly become a bit of a dumping ground for plastic waste. Malaysia’s Environment Minister, Yeo Bee Yin, recently announced that 3,000 tonnes of waste, sent from around the world, will be returned because it was either badly contaminated, rotting or illegally smuggled in under false labelling. It was reported that plastic bottles sent over from Australia were full of maggots!

Click here and here for a couple of good articles that cover this off.

KS Environmental’s response

KS Environmental delivers plastics to renowned and reputable operators who process both locally and export materials. Closer monitoring and auditing of recyclables delivered to local processing facilities is critical and it is therefore vital that generators are vigilant in monitoring what goes in recycling bins. KS Environmental is always happy to provide advice, ideas and education if requested.

2. New Organic Waste Facility opens

Right on our doorstep in Dandenong South, Sacyr Environment has opened an indoor composting facility which will be the most advanced facility of its type in Victoria. The plant which will be able to process around 120,000 tonnes of organic waste each year will initially be used by Councils in the South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne to recycle green garden and food waste. Read more here.

KS Environmental’s response

KS Environmental is currently working with this new facility to establish opportunities for both parties.

recycling in Victoria3. $35 million to be allocated into waste and resource recovery in Victoria

The 2019-20 Victorian budget has injected $35 million into the waste and resource recovery industry, using funds raised from the municipal and industrial landfill levy. Core activities will be the priority and the remaining balance will go into the sustainability fund. What specific projects are covered is not yet revealed but it’s but it’s great to see a plan in place for a positive direction for Victoria. Read more here.

KS Environmental’s response

There is an urgent need to increase capacity in the resource and recovery industry and KS Environmental is very supportive of this government decision. We would also be in favour of further injection of landfill levy funds to the sector to address the current shortfall in capacity in recycling and waste acceptance facilities.

4. Infrastructure Victoria building a local industry

Infrastructure Victoria are putting a focus on building a local industry for waste and recycling so Victoria can become increasingly self-reliant. They will be working closely with the government and putting forward recommendations. “Over the coming weeks we will provide further updates on our program to develop the advice and opportunities for people to get involved,” Infrastructure Victoria Chief Executive Officer, Mr Masson said. Infrastructure Victoria will deliver the advice to government in April 2020. An interim report will be provided in October 2019. Read more here.

KS Environmental’s response

Another indication of the governments strong focus in recognizing the need of local infrastructure which is critical in building a sustainable recycling industry.

plastic recycling5. New plastics facility

A brand new plastics processing facility, APC, has opened its doors in Somerton. APC has the capability to process 70,000 tonnes of PET/HDPE recyclables to flake to market to both local and international markets. This facility will at this stage just be receiving sorted / baled material from Material Reprocessing Facilities (MRF’s).


KS Environmental’s response

Another great investment. In order for this to be successful, it is imperative the commercial MRF operators utilise and divert material into the facility.

In conclusion

While there is no denying the recycling industry is going through a really tough time, all of the positive actions we are hearing about locally are promising and exciting. Lots of great stuff is going on in Victoria – we just need to watch this space!

In the meantime, we ask all clients to please be vigilant about contamination in your recycling systems. If you would like further information or tips on how to reduce contamination and educate staff in the work place, please contact us.