Parts of SKM Recycling - the City of Ballarat's recycling contractor - could still be purchased as going concerns despite the corporate entity of the business being declared insolvent last week.
Separate parts of the business, including its commercial and infrastructure arms, could still be bought, The Courier understands.
If they are, it could allow the gates of its materials recovery facilities to re-open shortly, offering relief to many councils currently forced to either stockpile or send kerbside recycling to landfill.
SKM Recycling closed the doors of all its plants on July 25 this month following a series of problems, including several closure notices issued by the Environmental Protection Authority.
The City of Ballarat Council was one of dozens of councils affected. Some councils have already found alternative contracts. Last week, the council issued a statement saying they would await formal advice from SKM before a contingency plan kicked into action.
The fact the government's not talking to them at all: in basketball terminology, there's a full court press against them and they're battling against that.
Rob Spence, a former chief executive officer of the Municipal Association of Victoria, has worked closely with SKM, including as a consultant for the company's submission to the ongoing state inquiry into waste management and recycling.
He told The Courier that he understood there were several companies that were still interested in investing in the company.
He said that with the infrastructure - glass plants, a plastics plant, three materials recovery facilities, and transfer stations, as well as existing contracts, SKM could still potentially be an attractive prospect. "It's a question of what the economics look like," he said.
He described the SKM owners as "battered" and "knocked around" by the process, and said they were holding out for a realistic investor. He suggested more would be known by Wednesday this week.
"The fact the government's not talking to them at all: in basketball terminology, there's a full court press against them and they're battling against that."
Others who have worked with SKM have also contested the recent assertion by the minister for environment Lily D'Ambrosio that the company was a "rogue operator". One suggested that the state government was trying to deflect blame,
Mr Spence said he was still involved in helping SKM out of concern for around 300 workers who depend on the company for their employment.
"I worry about the poor guys who work there," he said. "They're hard-working individuals, not earning a lot of money."
Meanwhile, the City of Ballarat's director of infrastructure and environment Terry Demeo said stockpiling could continue for 10 days to a fortnight. He said council workers would be putting plans in place to sort recycling locally as a contingency measure should SKM not reopen its doors.
If SKM does fold completely he said tenders would be issued by the end of the month for a replacement recycling contractor. Tenders will be due in any case by the end of September as the contract is due to expire at the end of this year.
The City of Ballarat so far has not had to send recycling to landfill, but Golden Plains Council has.
Residents of both municipalities are urged to continue recycling, although Golden Plains Council has requested residents withhold their recycling if they can.
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you