About $1 million of Victorian ratepayers' cash has been wasted since the collapse of recycling giant SKM, according to the Greens.
The minor party says costings by the Parliamentary Budget Office shows the crisis has slugged the 33 councils affected with a bill of about $270,000 a week since SKM stopped accepting recyclables on July 25.
It totals about $1.08 million.
On Wednesday Cleanaway announced it acquired about $60 million of SKM's debt and could potentially buy the company.
"The report shows that the current situation is financially, as well as environmentally unsustainable, so it is welcome that Cleanaway has stepped in," Greens leader Samantha Ratnam said on Thursday.
"SKM's closure has exposed to us all just how poor our recycling system has been in Victoria and just how little of what we put in our recycling bins is actually recycled."
SKM's recent collapse has resulted in Australia's recycling industry plunging into a worsening waste crisis, with tonnes of recycling being sent straight to landfill.
The company was ordered to stop taking recycling because of safety concerns from stockpiling and several fires at its Melbourne facilities.
The recycler announced it had gone into receivership with $100 million worth of debts.
"The acquisition of the debt will allow us to work with the receivers to examine viable options for SKM," Cleanaway chief executive Vik Bansal said in a statement.
"If a sale process is undertaken and if we are successful in purchasing any assets, we will return the assets to a sustainable footing."
KordaMentha has also been appointed receivers to manage the business.
"We will be aiming to get the business back to capacity to help ease Victoria's waste crisis," Mark Korda said in a statement on Wednesday.
While SKM's collapse was predicted, it was largely triggered by China's decision to stop accepting overseas waste, sending Australia's recycling industry into chaos.
As a result, Victorian warehouses are now full of unprocessed rubbish, while other recycling is being sent to landfill.
One of the affected councils, Cardinia, told ratepayers on Thursday it had entered into a short-term agreement with Polytrade Recycling to accept "a significant proportion" of the shire's recyclables instead of sending them to landfill.
The Victorian government has promised councils $11.3 million to take the pressure off councils, but it has refused to axe the landfill tax, which councils pay every time they send recycling to landfill.
Australian Associated Press