Australia

Vic councils find new recycling processors

Some of the Victorian councils forced to send recycling to landfill when the largest processor was shut down over safety concerns have found solutions.

Some Victorian councils have found other options for recyclable waste after a "cowboy" operator was shut down, throwing the sector into limbo.

Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio confirmed on Tuesday about 30 per cent of more than 20 affected councils have found new recycling organisations to process their collections while SKM remains shut.

"We understand that a number of other councils will be making similar arrangements with alternative processors in coming days," Ms D'Ambrosio said in a statement.

"We are still working through alternative options with the remaining councils so that where possible we are minimising the amount of waste sent to landfill."

SKM's Laverton, Geelong and Coolaroo plants were shut down by the Environmental Protection Authority in February because of stockpiling material creating a fire danger.

The recycling giant collects about half of the state's kerbside recycling and their closure has meant some councils had no option but to send their recyclable waste to landfill.

In parliament Ms D'Ambrosio railed against the processor.

"SKM has been a rogue operator and I make no bones about this in identifying them as cowboys in the sector," Ms D'Ambrosio told parliament.

"They have been in frequent breach of high standards of the EPA, putting communities at risk, we never want to see a repeat of what happened in Coolaroo where for 12 days the fire raged."

The EPA will allow SKM to reopen when it is satisfied enough remediation has taken place.

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