Demand too high for Daylesford recycling plant

THE stockpile at the Daylesford Transfer Plant is rising, with rubbish continuing to pile up.

A council spokesperson said when the shed was inspected in December all material was within the boundaries however rubbish had since built up at the plant.

“The plant is an older-style recycling plant with all the sorting equipment owned by the contractor,” the spokesperson said. “Because the plant is relatively small, it relies significantly on manual sorting and uses contract labour.

“As the volume of the recycled material has increased over the last few years, the plant is now struggling to keep up with the demand for processing recycling material collected within the shire.”

The Hepburn Shire Council owns the shed at the recycling plant and the sorting plant is owned and operated by contractor Calder Environmental.

The spokesperson said the council has had several meetings with the contractor regarding the recurring issue.

“The contractor removed the material in December to a metropolitan processing plant and reduced the onsite material for sorting to a manageable load prior to the Christmas break, however it has built up since,” the spokesperson said.

Plant site manager Warren White said if there was more communication between the council, the plant and the community then rubbish at the plant wouldn’t continue to rise.

He said the facility was adequate but couldn’t work to its full potential due to the equipment failing.

“We have had a break-in a couple of weeks ago and the equipment is run down so this amplifies what we have to do,” Mr White said.

“We are currently processing about 100 tonnes of recycling a week and we are not running at full potential.”

Mr White said one of the reasons that it took so long to process was because people in the community were not recycling properly.

“There is a lack of education in the community about what is and isn’t recycling,” he said.

“I don’t want to play the blame game, I want to find a resolution that can fix this problem.

“More community engagement is important.”

The council spokesperson said the council would take two approaches to fix the rising rubbish.

“Council will divert material from the plant next week to another recycling contractor in Ballarat where it is transported to Melbourne for processing.”

“Council will be issuing instructions to the contractor to reduce the backlog by removing the material and carting directly to a larger recycling plant in Melbourne, pre previous undertaking.”

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