Recycling crisis prompts call to switch to six-bins system for Victorian rubbish collection

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Victorian households could be separating rubbish into six or more bins — instead of the usual two or three — to help solve the state’s recycling crisis.

It is one of several proposed ideas to rescue the state’s collapsed recycling sector, published in an interim report to the State Government by Infrastructure Victoria.

“It’s very important that we have very clean streams of materials that are easy to recycle,” Elissa McNamara, the project director at Infrastructure Victoria, said.

“The system where everything’s all put in the one bin has been around for 20 years, and we haven’t updated that.

“The glass gets broken, paper and cardboard get tiny particles of glass in it … they’re so mixed up and contaminated that it’s really hard to extract a high-value material that can be recycled.”

A row of unemptied wheelie bins.

PHOTO: The ubiquitous wheelie bin might become a thing of the past. (ABC News)

‘Global shock’ forces recycling rethink

It was that contamination that led China to make its momentous decision to stop importing foreign waste for recycling in 2018, sparking Victoria’s recycling crisis.

Since then, waste from Victorian recycling bins has either gone to landfill or been stockpiled, creating massive fire risks.

“In the past, we’ve really been able to just set and forget,” Ms McNamara said.

“Now, we’ve had this global shock that really requires us to urgently reconsider how we deal with our recycling.”

The proposed six-bins system could involve separating rubbish into stackable crates that would be carried out to the kerb on something similar to a removalist’s trolley.

Read More: ABC News

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