A Craigieburn family is tackling the state’s recycling crisis by launching a community recycling group.
Robert and Ann Williams and their children, David, 19, Amy, 17, and Sean, 13, became concerned about the future of Victoria’s recycling sector in February when SKM Recycling was banned from accepting kerbside collections by the Environment Protection Authority.
The month-long closure forced 33 councils to send their kerbside recycling collections to landfill.
Worried about the impact of the additional landfill on the environment, the family opted to stockpile its recycling until SKM re-opened.
The family resumed stockpiling bottles, cardboard, paper and glass late last month when SKM announced it would stop accepting waste.
Since then, the family has been working tirelessly to identify small recycling businesses willing to accept its waste.
It has also formed the Northern Community Recycling Group in the hope that other northern suburbs families would join the recycling efforts. The group held its first meeting in Craigieburn on August 18.
“We have our garage stocked full of recycling because we couldn’t ethically throw it out,” Mr Williams said. “We knew there had to be someone that could take it.
“I have never considered myself as an environmentalist before, but I have a different outlook on that now.”
Mr Williams said his family’s research had uncovered the need for an overhaul of the recycling system.
“We need to sort our collections in the home because sorting takes time and time is money for businesses,” he said.
He said his family had found companies willing to accept plastics graded two and four, as well as metals, cardboard and papers.
Another group member has started collecting plastic bottle caps, which will be taken to Envision Hands to be turned into prosthetic hands.
The Williams family has also identified a glass recycler, but will need a tip truck to drop off collections.
It is hoping a local business will be willing to drop collections off once a month.
The Northern Recycling Group held a community recycling day on Sunday with future recycling days planned.
Whittlesea council is encouraging residents to take their cardboard and flattened boxes to Hanson’s Wollert landfill, 55 Bridge Inn Road, or Visy Recycling, 13 Reno Crescent, Campbellfield while kerbside recycling collections are being sent to landfill.
The council has also arranged for skip bins at the Wollert landfill and SRS Metals, 304 Mahoney Road, Thomastown to assist people to recycle metal and aluminium.
More information: whittlesea.vic.gov.au/recycling