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Darebin is one of many Victorian councils affected by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria decision to temporarily close the SKM recycled waste processing facilities at Laverton and Coolaroo.

The collection of household recycling bins in Darebin will continue as normal during this time, however we have no alternative but to divert these collections to landfill.

We are disappointed to be in this situation, but strongly urge residents to continue to put recyclables into your recycling bin and place your bin out for collection on your regular fortnightly collection day.

It would be particularly helpful if the recycling bin was only put out when full, and that recycling material is squashed, squeezed and flattened to fit more in their bin.

Alternatively, if you want to ensure your recyclable material is recycled instead of going to landfill, and can safely store your recycling at home, hold onto it until the EPA gives SKM approval to begin accepting new recyclable waste collected by councils.

Recycling Update: 8 March 

We are very thankful for Darebin residents’ patience and feedback, as we continue to work towards finding a solution to the recycling issue. At the moment, the situation remains unchanged.

SKM, Council’s recycling processor, is still working to clear their stockpiles of waste and meet EPA Victoria’s requirements. Unfortunately this means that Darebin’s recycling is still temporarily going to landfill.

As communicated previously, residents are encouraged to purchase items without unnecessary packaging, and keep recycling right. We would like to thank those in our community who are doing everything they can to reduce the amount of recycling they are putting in their kerbside bins. This is has resulted in approximately 150 tonnes of recycling not going to landfill.

Residents can continue to take their clean and sorted households recycling to Darebin Resource Recovery Centre (DRRC). Please ensure you are dropping off recyclables in small, household quantities and that the items are separated into glass, paper and cardboards, plastic and metals. Most of these can be dropped off without a fee, however, if materials are contaminated or mixed in together, a fee may be charged.

The good news is that the current recycling crisis in Victoria is now the subject of a Parliamentary Inquiry, with a report due by 13 August 2019. Council will use this opportunity to continue our advocacy and work with other councils and organisations to prioritise the key issues, impacts and actions that will achieve lasting, beneficial change for the recycling industry.


Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be any changes to the collection of my recycling bin?

No, there will not be any changes to the collection of your household recycling bin. Please continue to place all recyclables into your recycling bin. Recycling bins are collected on a fortnightly basis.

When is my bin collected?

To see when your bin is collected, please view the map here.

What is happening to my recycling?

Council is committed to maintaining services to residents to ensure there is no disruption to waste collection. In the short term, we have made alternative arrangements to send some recyclable materials to landfill. Darebin is committed to reducing waste sent to landfill. But in this instance, our immediate priority is to protect the health and safety of the community. In the long term, we are continuing to advocate on the landfill levy and other relevant waste and recycling issues to reduce waste to landfill, increase recycling and address climate change.

Why can’t Council just collect and hold the recycling until the plant is open again? 

No. We explored this option, but we do not have anywhere to store such a large amount of recyclable materials. We would also need approval from the EPA as the piles have the potential to create an unacceptable fire risk.

How long will this issue go on for? 

Council is monitoring the situation daily, and is regular contact with other affected councils, the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group, the Municipal Association of Victoria, the State Government, and SKM. At this stage it remains unclear when SKM will become EPA-compliant again, but we will communicate any developments with our community when we become aware.

I don’t want my recycling going to landfill this week, what can I do?

If you have enough space in your bin, you can hold on to your recycling materials at home until the issue is resolved. We understand many people can’t do this, which is why we will still be collecting and emptying your recycling bins on your normal collection day with the materials going to landfill. Other options are to squash, squeeze, and flatten your recycling so more fits in your bin, and to only put the recycling bin out for collection once it is full.

Why doesn’t Council have a back-up plan for situations such as this?

This issue has affected more than 20 councils around Melbourne. Unfortunately, there are very few locations in Victoria that accept and process recycling materials. Council has investigated all other options available to us, including transport to Geelong and using other providers, but unfortunately all alternative recycling facilities are already at capacity, and there are no options to store materials due to EPA licensing requirements. We are working with the State and Federal Governments to come up with more sustainable long-term solutions for processing recycling locally.

Will this affect waste taken to the Resource Recovery Centre?

There will be no impact on waste taken to the Resource Recovery Centre.

When did the council find out they needed to stop sending recycling to SKM?

Council was first alerted to the EPA’s SKM notice on the night of Thursday, 14 February.

Why did SKM close?

The EPA ordered SKM to stop accepting recyclable waste at its Coolaroo and Laverton sites due to concerns about stockpiles of waste and recyclable materials that could pose a fire risk and a risk to human health.

When will SKM accept recycling again?

SKM has advised Council that it is working to reopen the facility as soon as possible, pending EPA approval. Council will start sending recyclables to the SMK recycling facility as soon as it reopens.

How many people are affected?

SKM receives 50 per cent of Victoria’s recycling and takes materials from many council areas across Melbourne.

No bin collections on Good Friday, Sunday 21 April and ANZAC Day. Deliveries will be a day later than usual for the week.

Easter and ANZAC Day Bin Collections 2019

Garbage Green Waste Recycling
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Normal Collections Normal Collections Normal Collections
Friday, 19 April 2019 (Good Friday) No Collections No Collections No Collections
Saturday, 20 April 2019 Friday Collections Friday Collections Friday Collections
Sunday, 21 April 2019 No Collections No Collections No Collections
Monday, 22 April 2019 Normal Collections Normal Collections Normal Collections
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 Normal Collections Normal Collections Normal Collections
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 Normal Collections Normal Collections Normal Collections

Thursday, 25 April 2019 (ANZAC Day)

No Collections No Collections No Collections
Friday, 26 April 2019 Thursday Collections Thursday Collections Thursday Collections
Saturday, 27 April 2019 Friday Collections Friday Collections Friday Collections

Your 2019 Recycling Calendar is now available online.

It includes helpful information about recycling and green waste recycling bin collection days, what you can recycle at home and other recycling options in Darebin. 

Download your East or West 2019 Recycling Calendar.

Printed calendars are also available from our Customer Service Centres, or you can call 8470 8888 to have one posted to you.

A day of healing and remembrance for the Stolen Generations

Aboriginal people of the Stolen Generations gathered with the community to commemorate the 11th Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations at Preston Shire Hall on Wednesday 13 February.

The event was filled with personal and moving reflections on the pain, suffering and lifelong search for family, home and country that members of the Stolen Generations face.

Connecting Home Chairperson Ian Hamm spoke of the struggle this brings for him and other members of the Stolen Generations.

“It’s a journey that will not stop until the day you die,” Mr Hamm told the gathering.

“It just keeps going. It gets better, it gets worse.”

He also reflected on the Anniversary as a chance to remember the special bond members of the Stolen Generations share, and on the healing the Apology brought to so many members of the Aboriginal community and to the nation.

“It reminds me of the best of humanity, when Kevin Rudd said 'Sorry'. That day brought out the best of us.”

VACCA Deputy Chairperson Jason King said it was also a call to action to keep working for truth, justice and reconciliation.

“To understand why it happened and how it’s not going to happen in the future. And about making sure the impacts today are recognised.”

Darebin Mayor Susan Rennie said Council recognised the need to address past wrongs in the spirit of recognition, respect, justice and reconciliation.

"This is why, four years ago on 26 May 2015, Council launched the Stolen Generations Marker in front of our municipal offices, sharing this important chapter of Australian history with Darebin residents.

"To the Stolen Generation Elders and your families here this morning, our Council wishes to express how privileged and humbled we feel to be hosting such an important gathering.

"We recognise the need to address past wrongs, to allow for healing and hope through truth telling and to work together in helping build a fair future for all."

About 200 people filled the Preston Shire Hall to attend the commemoration, which was organised by Link-Up Victoria, VACCA, Connecting Home and Darebin Council. The gathering received a heartfelt Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony from Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Elder Aunty Di Kerr OAM and a didgeridoo performance from Stolen Generations member Andrew Travis.

Following closing reflections from Stolen Generations members, MC Eva Jo Edwards and singer-songwriter Brian Morley, the crowd made their way to the commemoration marker, the 'empty coolamon', outside Council offices on High Street, to each place a flower there, along with candles, to reflect and honour Stolen Generations members.

Read more about Aboriginal Victoria.


We’re taking action to reduce the harm, waste and pollution caused by single-use plastic items. We are also encouraging everyone in the community, including our residents and businesses, to make a commitment to eliminating single-use plastics.

Council endorsed a new policy on 26 February 2018 to eliminate the single-use plastic products at festivals and events located at Council venues and properties. The policy, which applies to all council owned buildings and venues, aims to reduce the alarming damage single-use plastic products are causing. 

Single-use plastic products have serious environmental, social and economic impacts. Eight million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in freshwater and marine environments every year and this plastic breaks down into tiny pieces which are increasingly being found in food consumed by humans and animals.

We also need to work hard to reduce our use of single-use plastics as recent overseas import bans on certain recycled products means that we need to address the waste in our own backyard.

The policy is committed to:

  • Eliminate single-use plastic bags
  • Eliminate single-use plastic plates, bowls, cups, straws, cutlery and take away food - containers
  • Eliminate bottled water, and provide alternative, free access to water
  • Avoid plastic packaging
  • Eliminate balloons at events
  • Reuse event materials where possible
  • Educate and guide event staff and audience on single-use plastic free practices
See Plastic Free Darebin for further details.

Free public WiFi is now available in our major shopping strips. Next time you’re out and about you will be able to browse social media, webpages, search for local businesses and read your emails.

Free Wi-Fi is now fully operational in the following shopping centres:

  • High Street, Preston
  • Station Street, Fairfield
  • Broadway, Reservoir
  • High Street, Northcote and Westgarth
  • Edwardes Street, Reservoir
  • Spring Street, Reservoir

For more detail on coverage areas please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

How do I access the Free Wi-Fi service?

  • Turn on Wi-Fi
  • Select “Free Darebin Wi-Fi” (in Preston, Fairfield and Reservoir) or “Darebin Free Wi-Fi” (in Northcote and Westgarth) and connect
  • Click on your internet browser from your menu page and select “sign in to Wi-Fi” when prompted
  • Accept the terms and conditions
  • Enjoy free Wi-Fi!


If you have problems accessing the service and need help, there are service technicians available, at or by calling:

  • Ph: 1300 765 543 for Preston, Reservoir, Fairfield
  • Ph: 1300 135 249 for Northcote and Westgarth

This free Wi-Fi service has been made available to you by Darebin City Council with the assistance of business owners and operators in the coverage areas and with the assistance of our industry partners Infrastructure Logic and Easyweb Digital.

Opportunities for Business

Businesses in Preston, Reservoir and Fairfield will be able to list and promote their businesses on a marketing portal (coming soon), this is already available in Northcote and Westgarth. 

If you would like to know how you can use the services to market your business products and services, please contact us.

Business Development

Ph: 8470 8344