Paper and cardboard processed through the ACT Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is to be placed in temporary storage facilities while Tumut’s paper mill manages the impact of the bushfire crisis.
Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction, Chris Steel said the MRF processed around 470 tonnes of ACT paper each week, with the material then heading to the Visy Pulp and Paper Mill in Tumut for recycling into paper and cardboard products.
“The operator of the MRF, Re.Group, has advised the ACT Government that although the Visy mill at Tumut has not been directly impacted by the fires, a number of their plantations and stored wood chips were burnt around the Eden area,” Mr Steel said.
He said the impact of the fire on the plantations meant that Visy needed to temporarily slow production of its recycled products, leaving it unable to accept all the ACT’s paper recycling.
“While about half the volume of paper and cardboard will continue to be sent to Visy each week, the ACT Government has taken the decision to temporarily store the remaining material at Mugga Lane and West Belconnen resource management facilities over the coming weeks,” Mr Steel said.
“The additional storage locations have been determined in consultation with ACT Fire and Rescue to minimise fire safety risks, and ACT Fire and Rescue has also been involved in assessing the stockpiles at the Hume MRF.”
He said the temporary storage measure would help prevent excessive land fill in the short term.
“Landfilling is the last resort and will only be considered if the recycling industry is unable to recover and increase production levels, and stored material can no longer be safely managed,” Mr Steel said.
He said Canberrans should continue to recycle their paper and cardboard as normal using the yellow bins or the recycling drop off centres in Belconnen, Gungahlin, Mitchell, Phillip and Tuggeranong.