Plan to avoid repeat recycling crisis

10 August 2022 Read bill brief

Legislation has been introduced to parliament in a bid to prevent another disruption to Victoria’s waste and recycling sector.

The Environment Legislation Amendment (Circular Economy and Other Matters) Bill 2022 aims to support the state’s transition to a circular economy and establishes a waste to energy (WTE) scheme.

Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio believes the thermal WTE plan ‘will ensure appropriate waste to energy investment and help Victoria transition to a circular economy, support new jobs and reduce the waste sent to landfill’.

Victoria is predicted to generate 20.8 million tonnes of waste annually by 2040, according to Sustainability Victoria. A big jump on the 15.86 million tonnes created between 2019-2020.

Households accounted for almost 15 per cent of that figure and 30 per cent ended up in landfill.

In 2018 China banned importation of certain types of solid waste and set strict contamination limits.

The sudden policy shift caused a massive build-up of recyclables in Victoria. The collapse of SKM Recycling in 2019 worsened the situation, leaving more than 30 councils without kerbside services and forcing them to dump recyclables in landfill.

The Victorian Parliamentary Library has provided further analysis, with a bill brief exploring:

  • Victoria’s transition to a circular economy
  • recent legislative changes to the waste and recycling sector
  • advantages and disadvantages of thermal WTE technologies
  • political party responses.

It is just one of a number of regular publications produced by the Parliamentary Library.

To find out about the progress of the bill go to our bills and legislation webpage.