Shires discuss recycling plan

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The Shire of Plantagenet is in the early stages of a plan to share a waste treatment facility with its alliance partners, the City of Albany and the Shire of Denmark, to combat growing recycling costs.

The leading option the alliance is discussing is the possibility of the Plantagenet Shire acquiring extra land adjacent to the waste facility in Mt Barker.

Shire of Plantagenet chief executive Robert Stewart said whatever the function of this area would be, whether a hole in the ground or a recycling storage point, it would help reduce the high costs of recycling.

“One of the things is that many members of the public expect that recycling will just happen ... and many think you might make money out of it, but the reality is that you don’t,” he said.

“By the time you start paying money for people to cart plastic up to Perth, glass to the Eastern States or paper to Shanghai, there a huge costs involved.”

If the idea progresses and is put into action, the three Shires plan to weigh out the down cycles of commodity prices and onsell materials such as aluminium, steel, paper or plastic when prices rise.

Commodity prices inflate and deflate regularly, changing whether local governments need to either pay or be paid to have them removed and recycled.

While Mr Stewart said there were multiple options as far as where the money for the “super tip” could come from, he said the Shire has been talking to the Government for the past three years to try to secure funding for the extra land.

“The main thing that we have found out with funding these days in these areas is that it has to be regionally based,” he said.

“The Government has made it quite clear that if they are going to give any money, then it has got to have regional economic benefit.”

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