Melbourne City considers new waste and resource recovery strategy

Monday, 15 April, 2019

Melbourne City considers new waste and resource recovery strategy

On 16 April, City of Melbourne councillors will consider a new strategy for waste and resource recovery, which proposes a domestic food waste collection service, more shared waste hubs for businesses and removal of some commercial bins from the public realm. Endorsement of the Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 will lead to a waste collection trial, with 700 Kensington residents receiving a third kerbside bin for food scraps.

Councillor Cathy Oke, Chair of the Environment portfolio, said with food making up 50% of household waste in the municipality, finding a solution for discarded food scraps will be a key component of the proposed strategy.

“Our residents discarded an estimated 12,000 tonnes of food waste in 2016–17 and, through our engagement with the community, we know people want a solution to avoid food going to landfill,” she said. “Food and garden waste would be collected weekly. The trial would be supported by an education and engagement campaign and help us design an effective waste collection service for the whole municipality in the future.”

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the proposed expansion to the existing network of five waste hubs would activate laneways, reduce truck movements, boost amenity and make Melbourne more livable.

“We can dramatically reduce the number of bins lining our laneways and the number of trucks on our streets by creating more central waste drop-off points,” she said.

“Balcombe Place was transformed last year with a waste hub that has replaced around 20 bins and skips, and as a result we are seeing less illegally dumped rubbish and milk crates left in the lane.”

The proposed waste and resource recovery strategy aims to create more demand for recyclable products in response to global recycling industry changes, which have left Victorian councils grappling with a great oversupply of recyclable material.

“China and India have restricted their imports, and the stockpiling of waste around the state is a major wake-up call for all levels of government,” Oke commented.

“We want to drive demand for recycled products by working with state and other local governments to set targets to use recycled content in projects like new roads, footpaths, railway sleepers and drainage pipes.

“We need government procurement targets for recycling to build Australia’s domestic recycling industry. This would create local jobs in our manufacturing sector and, most importantly, stop recyclable material from ending up in landfill.

“We know there is a lot of work to be done on research and standards to ensure products made from recyclable materials are safe and fit for purpose. We are keen to work with industry and government to progress this as a priority.”

For more information visit Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030.

Image credit: ©

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