Industry News, Latest News, News, Victoria, Waste & Resource Recovery

City of Melbourne seeks technology solutions to help state’s recycling crisis

Amid Victoria’s recycling crisis, following the closure of SKM Recycling facilities, the City of Melbourne is seeking solutions to improve its recycling network.

On August 23, the council announced it is on a global search for the best technologies that will expand and enhance the network of rubbish and recycling hubs throughout the central city. The Expressions of Interest process is opening on the weekend.

​Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, said the council will consider everything from mini-compactor bins, to specialised vehicles, and collection of source separated materials such as glass, organics, paper and cardboard.

“We could tailor our network of hubs to the profile of key precincts around the city. For example, we could deliver more food waste and plastic recycling hubs in our hospitality precincts.

“We’re looking at densely populated international cities such as Milan, which has amongst the highest rates of recycling in Europe,” Capp said.

Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio, Cathy Oke, said residents and businesses had a critical role to play in helping to reduce waste and find local solutions to the state’s recycling crisis.

Many councils in the state have had to send recyclable material to landfill after SKM Recycling closed its doors in late July.

It was announced on August 21, that SKM Recycling has been placed into receivership as the company owes $100 million, with $60m of that owed to Cleanaway Waste Management.

Oke said the most important thing people can do right now is to try avoid creating waste to deal with the increase of materials heading to landfill.

“The City of Melbourne understands this is a state-wide issue and we will continue to examine potential short and long-term solutions such as new technologies. We’re also asking our residents and businesses to adjust their behaviour to achieve lasting change.

“This means changing what products we buy to ones that have less packaging or things that can be re-used in our homes or workplaces. Food waste is an area that almost anyone can cut down on by starting to compost or simply using leftovers to make a new meal instead of throwing them out,” Oke said.

Capp said companies will be asked to submit their proposals for specialised waste and recycling collection services for the central city.

“We want to expand our network of waste and recycling hubs to transform the way waste and recycling is collected in the central city.

“Rather than have multiple trucks circling the city, we want to create more communal hubs so businesses can take their items to a local collection point.”

The City of Melbourne is looking for innovative technology such as:

  • Wi-Fi or radio frequency identification technology that can charge users for the amount of waste calculated /disposed;
  • Smart, card, tap technology which can bill users via a pay-as-you-throw waste management system;
  • Smart sensors and bin weights to monitor bin levels;
  • GPS tracking to help truck drivers know when a bin needs emptying; and
  • Ability to compact a variety of waste streams for easier storage and collection.