Wimmera shires are having to consider sending residents' recycling to landfill, in the wake of sorting giant SKM Recycling going under.
On Tuesday, the government committed a total of $6.6 million in funding to Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh, West Wimmera and 30 other councils, to cover the additional costs of dealing with recycling over the next four months.
Hindmarsh Shire director of infrastructure services Angela Hoy welcomed the announcement, saying the municipality could not afford to transfer recycling out of Hindmarsh Shire now SKM had closed
"Our contracts can only stockpile so much," she said. "If a solution is not found we will be looking at an approximate 300 per cent increase of cost to transport recyclables - from an average of $100 per tonne to $300 per tonne to an alternative location.
"We simply cannot afford or sustain (this), so landfill unfortunately will be our only option.
"At the moment we've got nowhere for the recyclables to go that we can afford, apart from landfill. Even if incentives are offered by the Federal and State government such as money to fund additional bins we will still have the issue of where the recyclables are going to go.
"We will be having a meeting with our neighbouring councils to come up with possible alternative solutions."
West Wimmera Shire chief executive David Leahy agreed the cost per tonne was a concern for the municipality, and this made sending recycling to landfill more attractive.
"If it goes to another sorting place, a lot of those are actually at capacity, so having the product recycled effectively becomes extremely problematic," he said.
Yarriambiack Shire's general manager of Infrastructure and Planning James Magee said the council was still negotiating a "new point of discharge", and that it wasn't sure yet how much extra kerbside collections would cost.
The council's manager of asset services Bernie Naylor said it collected 2,850 recycling bins in the municipality.
West Wimmera, Hindmarsh and Yarriambiack shires contract out their kerbside collections Rainbow's Wimmera-Mallee Waste. he company then passes it on to SKM.
The Mail-Times has contacted the company for comment.
The state government commitment comes two weeks after the Supreme Court ordered SKM to be wound up.
The company was twice banned from accepting any new waste in the five months to July this year, after the Environment Protection Authority said it failed to comply with the Victorian Waste Management Policy.
A spokeswoman for environment minister Lily D'Ambrosio said SKM had been "significantly undercutting the prices of other recycling providers".
"Since they stopped accepting waste, many councils are paying double what they were to SKM to divert recycling to other providers," she said.
She said the government also planned to work with councils to improve the quality of the recyclables collected.
"This may include extra bins for households to improve the separation of waste, making it easier to recycle this material," she said.
"Targets will also be considered to drive investment in glass for road base and railway sleepers made from plastics."