Melbourne: Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio has announced a $37 million package that will increase the quality of recycled materials in Victoria and develop new markets for them.
The Recycling Industry Strategic Plan is a blueprint for a safe, resilient and efficient recycling system in the medium to long term, an official press release said.
The Government will help drive greater demand for products containing recycled materials through procurement.
Sustainability Victoria, in consultation with the Department of Treasury and Finance, will assist government departments and agencies to identify opportunities and, where appropriate, develop their own targets to increase procurement of recycled content.
It will boost investment in recycling infrastructure through an $8.3 million expansion to the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund – which will improve the quality of up to 100,000 tonnes of recycled material.
A further $2 million will go towards market development for recycled materials by identifying new and innovative uses – boosting the current market development program to $4.5 million.
An education program will improve understanding of what can and can’t be recycled, to help reduce the contamination of kerbside recycling. This has the potential to reduce the amount of contaminated recycling going to landfill, by around 40,000 tonnes each year.
The Landfill Levy Relief Program will also receive an $800,000 boost to ensure the National Association of Charitable Recyclers can continue to ensure that charities can focus their efforts on charitable work.
The holistic plan will be delivered by consumers and waste producers, the resource recovery industry and manufacturers, and all levels of government.
It includes the $13 million temporary relief package announced in February for councils and industry to support the ongoing kerbside collection of household recyclable waste – following China’s decision to restrict the import of recyclable materials.
The Labor Government has invested record funding of more than $100 million over the last four years to improve the waste and resource recovery system.
D’Ambrosio said, “We’re delivering a new plan for the future of recycling in Victoria – to reduce waste and costs to households, and build a more resilient recycling sector in Victoria.
“This plan will create a more stable and productive recycling sector, improving the quality of recycled materials and developing new markets for them.”