Wollongong council monitors where our recycling ends up

Wollongong City Council contracts with VISY state that the contractor must recycle 90 per cent of what goes into the yellow-top bins. Picture: Domino Postiglione

Wollongong City Council contracts with VISY state that the contractor must recycle 90 per cent of what goes into the yellow-top bins. Picture: Domino Postiglione

Almost everything that ends up in Wollongong’s yellow-topped bin has to be recycled, a council spokesman said

Council’s acting director of Infrastructure and Works Mark Roebuck fronted the media after Monday night's airing of an eye-opening Four Corners report.

The report highlighted the fact that some glass placed in kerbside recycling bins in NSW actually ends up in landfill or storage.

Mr Roebuck said he had watched the show and that it did “raise some serious concerns” about the recycling practices in NSW.

“I’d like to reassure people that Wollongong City Council take our recycling seriously and we work very closely with our contractors to recycle appropriately in the Illawarra,” Mr Roebuck said.

“We have a contract in place where they have to recycle 90 per cent of what they pick up in our yellow-top bins and we monitor that monthly via invoicing and payment claims to ensure that there’s compliance with that project.”

He said the contractor – VISY – took collected recyclables to a sorting house and then it is sent off to a Sydney subcontractor.

In the wake of the airing of the Four Corners show Mr Roebuck said he had been in contact with VISY to seek further information but “at this point in time we’re pretty sure that everything is under control”.

A Kiama Council spokeswoman said its recycling practices operated under EPA requirements.

“In light of the Four Corners report, we have made further inquiries with our contracted recycling operators to ensure waste and recycling from the Kiama Municipality is being managed in a responsible manner,” the spokeswoman said.

Shellharbour City Council  also moved to reassure residents that the issues covered in last night’s Four Corners program did not affect their municipality.

“Our kerbside FOGO material is currently transported to Soilco (Kembla Grange) where it is reprocessed into compost. In 2016-17 a total of 11,560.15 tonnes was collected at the kerbside, with 106.38 tonnes (0.9 per cent) sent to landfill as contamination,” Shellharbour City Council general manager Carey McIntyre said.

“Our kerbside recycling material is transported to VISY at Kembla Grange where it is loaded into trucks and transported to VISY’s recycling facility in Smithfield. In 2016-17 a total of 6,860.12 tonnes was collected at the kerbside, with 502.65 tonnes (7 per cent) sent to landfill as contamination.

“Our kerbside waste is transported to the Dunmore Recycling & Waste Disposal Depot where it is landfilled. In 2016-17 a total of 12,529.48 tonnes was collected at the kerbside and landfilled at Dunmore.”

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