Bales of waste from SKM Recycling have been stacked in warehouses across Melbourne. (ABC News: James Oaten)
Kerbside recycling could resume throughout Victoria within two weeks, with failed recycling giant SKM expecting to secure a buyout or refinancing deal within days.
- A spokesman for the liquidated company SKM said a deal could be done by Tuesday
- That deal could involve the company being entirely or partially bought out
- The spokesman said a deal is made this week, kerbside recycling could resume within a fortnight
Thousands of tonnes of recyclables from more than half of Victoria’s local councils have been sent to landfill since early this month, when SKM Recycling was wound up.
A spokesman for the company, Rob Spence, said there was hope a deal could be done as early as Tuesday.
“Some of the discussions are a little more positive than they had been,” he said.
“There are a lot of people looking at it, circling.”
He said there were still several options on the table.
“One is a buyout, another is a part buyout, another option is a refinancing, so all of those things are in play,” he said.
He said if a deal was done this week, kerbside recycling could resume within a fortnight.
The ABC estimated about 780 rubbish trucks’ worth of recyclables were sent to landfill in the week after SKM Recycling was declared insolvent.
The crisis prompted the State Government to offer $6.6 million to help councils which had contracts with the company either divert their recycling or send it to landfill.
That solution was criticised as “barely tokenistic” by City of Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood, who urged the Government to show leadership with a statewide solution to the impasse.
Warehouse owners stuck with towers of waste
Any deal would likely not include a plan for thousands of tonnes of recyclable materials sitting in warehouses around outer Melbourne.
Marwood Construction owns a warehouse in Derrimut where SKM had been storing 10,000 tonnes of recyclable waste.
Marwood spokeswoman Carly Whitington said SKM owed about $500,000 in unpaid rent and bills, and Marwood was unlikely to see any money because of the way SKM was structured.
The recyclable materials dumped in warehouses by SKM are likely to end up in landfill. (ABC News: James Oaten)
“They basically have no interest so they’re basically wiping their hands of everything, they don’t want anything to do with the material and there’s no care, there’s no responsibility,” she said.
She said she had tried to contact the State Government.
“I’ve tried to reach out to anyone and obviously being on the media I call on Daniel Andrews or Lily D’Ambrosio to come here and have look at the monstrosity that this is,” she said.
Assistant Treasurer Robin Scott said the Government would not oppose SKM reopening.
“I’m not going to pre-empt further financial decisions, but there’s a lot of work going in Government to deal with issues surrounding recycling,” he said.