Since the ABC's Four Corners documentary
, Council has received some questions about where residents' recycling goes. We have put together this information to answer those questions.
Which company manages recycling in Darebin?
Darebin City Council has an existing contract with Remondis for the kerbside collection and SKM Recycling for processing of recyclable material. The recyclable material collected from the household kerbside recycling bins is sorted into material components for recycling into new products.
Can you tell me more about SKM Recycling?
SKM Recycling is a major participant in the recyclables industry, and provides a range of recyclable sorting and collection services to several councils and regional waste management groups across Victoria. Once collected, recyclables are transported to the Materials Recovery Facility, such as the SKM Coolaroo plant. A combination of sorting processes separates the different materials by various criteria including size and weight.
SKM has local and export markets to which they on sell the sorted recyclables. The price of these materials is controlled by market forces and SKM, like other recycling companies need to deal with the market fluctuations.
You can find more information about SKM on their website.
What checks do you do to make sure SKM Recycling is fulfilling its contract?
Darebin City Council receives reports from SKM which detail how many tonnes of recycling has been transported into the Materials Recovery. The report also tells Council what types of items were included in the recyclables, including contaminants. SKM have recently completed a report to Council, indicating that just over 8% of the recycling loads collected are contaminants. General waste, green waste and plastic bags are the most commonly found contaminants. Recyclables should not be placed in plastic bags, but rather loose in the kerbside recycling bin.
Where does my household recycling go?
The recyclables collected from household kerbside recycling bins is delivered directly to the SKM Laverton or Coolaroo sites for processing. SKM is currently working with authorities to ensure that materials can be safely processed at the Coolaroo site following the recent fire at that site, and so all materials are going to Laverton during this period.
- Paper/cardboard (boxes, pizza trays, toilet rolls, egg cartons, envelopes, paper)
The recovered paper and cardboard is used for new paper and cardboard manufacture with excess materials exported as a commodity.
- Plastic containers (hard plastic bottles, hard plastic containers)
The recovered plastics are used for the manufacture of new plastic bottles and containers. Plastic materials such as PET and HDPE materials are sold to local and international markets.
- Milk containers/juice containers
The recovered milk and juice containers are used to manufacture new containers
- Aluminium (cans and foil)
The recovered aluminium material is used to manufacture new aluminium cans and aluminium products.
- Steel (steel cans, aerosol cans)
The recovered steel is sold back to the industries that manufacture them, and is then used to make similar products cans.
The recovered glass is used as a raw material for other products.
What happens to contaminated recycling materials?
Sometimes recycling materials that are contaminated with non-recyclables are sent to landfill; this depends on the level of contamination and the contaminants included.
How much of recycling is classified as ‘contaminated’?
Excluding crushed glass, the rate of contamination in recyclable materials is just over 8%.
What does Darebin City Council do to encourage recycling by residents and businesses?
Darebin City Council are leaders in creating a sustainable city. We actively work to educate and communicate with our community about how to recycle. Read more about Council’s commitment to waste reduction.