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    Member for Lowan Emma Kealy.

Action call for recycling direction

Uncertainty over the future of household recycling programs has prompted a call for the State Government to provide a clearer pathway through the dilemma.

Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said a mish-mash in municipal recycling directives was generating an unhealthy mix of community confusion and cynicism and the government needed to do more.

She said households across the region were getting mixed messages, especially when neighbouring municipal councils had different waste-contracting arrangements.

“There are so many inconsistencies,” she said.

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“There is a broad message across western Victoria for people to keep sorting recyclables from their waste. 

“But some are being asked to do this knowing it is going to landfill regardless of their efforts.

“Others are more comfortable, having assurances their recycling efforts are not in vain, and then there are advertisements being aired across the region about glass-recycling changes in Ballarat to avoid contamination.

“This lack of uniformity of direction and messaging does little to generate faith in people about the value of recycling.

“It also reveals that the State Government is asking local government to shoulder too much responsibility on this issue.”

Ms Kealy made her call despite the State Government announcing on Monday a development project to explore new ways to use recycled materials and reduce waste.

The government announced it was providing $1.6-million for research projects that provided markets for recycled materials.

Research institutions are also contributing $3.4-million to help build confidence and demand for products from recycling materials.

Ms Kealy said the government moves were encouraging but fell short of dealing with an immediate ‘crisis of confidence’ surrounding recycling.

“The recycling issue and the households it effects is unfolding now, as we speak, and the reality is that these sort of measures should have been in place five years ago when signs were there that this industry started to appear vulnerable,” she said.

“The state must start providing clear and concise direction – not only to industry – but to everyday people. 

“It would be great if the government had a clearer management position that we could all scrutinise, but there does not appear to be one and we suspect they simply don’t know what to do. This makes it hard for everyone. I’m afraid asking people to simply continue to sort their rubbish as part of a habit when some know full well their recyclables are heading to landfill is a hard sell and does not cut it.

“In all the uncertainty, what we know is that what’s happening at the moment isn’t good enough. 

“The people of Victoria, let alone western Victoria, need greater direction and passing the buck on this to local government isn’t the answer.”

Ms Kealy urged people across the region, despite any misgivings they might have about recycling systems, to continue following directions from their municipal councils.

The entire October 9, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!