Ballarat residents will be asked to keep glass out of their recycling bins from September 30, in order to keep the municipality's recycling system afloat.
After being embroiled in the recycling crisis, City of Ballarat has signed a 12-month contract with Australian Paper Recovery, which cannot process glass in the recycling they collect.
Council has set up eight free drop-off zones for glass containers, primarily at supermarkets, in the hope that glass can be utilised by local businesses, or used within roads and cement.
But the council has conceded residents can put glass in the rubbish if drop-off is not an option, as keeping recycling untainted is now its focus.
What can you put into the recycling bin now?
- Aerosol cans
- Clean tin cans
- Plastic bottles and containers from your kitchen, laundry and bathroom
Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said the potential binning of glass was an unpalatable option, but to ensure the bulk of the city's recycling is "processed locally and genuinely reused", this was the only way forward.
"We want to have less contamination of the product that can be really well recycled," she said. "So our goal at the moment is to get the glass out."
Council stated if they were to create a dedicated glass bin and pay for collection, it would cost residents an extra $80 on the annual waste levy.
While City of Ballarat have promised not to increase costs for residents, The Courier understands the cost to service the glass drop-off locations would mean some capital works will now be pushed back.
Any recycling contaminated with glass will be sent back to council by Australian Paper Recovery, and will have to be put in landfill.
Residents can request a specific container from City of Ballarat to stow glass in at their homes. Letters will be sent to each home, with a new bin sticker outlining the change.
The council now have severed ties with embattled recycling company SKM, which received multiple plant closure notices from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) this year, and is in receivership.
What does council want you to do with your glass?
- Drop it off for free at one of eight sites across the municipality
- Reuse glass jars and containers
- Choose to be glass free
- Worst case scenario, put glass in the rubbish bin
Drop-off sites include the Lucas Shopping Complex, Gillies Street Transfer Station, Big W, the Midvale Shopping Complex in Mount Clear and behind the BP/Newsagency in Buninyong at 315 Forest Street. More sites will be announced soon.
The country's recycling sector has been in crisis since January 2018 when the major purchaser of recycling, China, put restrictions on the contamination allowed in imported recyclables.
Glass makes up 22 per cent of recycling in Ballarat, with more than 46,000 recycling bins across the city.
Ms McIntosh said council wanted businesses in Ballarat to consider "innovative and creative" ways of using the collected glass.
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