Victoria like all states has staggering volumes of domestic waste going directly from their council supplied bins to landfill. This old school approach clearly and urgently needs to change. Besides the obvious lack of sustainability issues, it poses fire risks, local pollution and management issues at landfill sites and requires more and more such sites. It cannot continue.
The Victorian Government has detailed some insights and proposed changes whilst highlighting various insights from their efforts studying Global best practice on the matter. There is no singularly recognised “best approach” which poses obvious challenges locally and nationally.
What does the new proposed system look like?
The first trial has kicked off in The City of Hobsons Bay in Melbourne’s inner south-west, which means an extra bin for glass and another for food waste whilst some other inner-city councils are already trialling an expanded bin system which is being monitored closely by the Victorian government and local Councils.
There is a healthy amount of public scepticism around the entire recycling subject highlighted in the report which shows a quarter of people surveyed believe their recyclables are going to landfill anyway. Clearly there are PR issues to overcome not just the awareness issue for the Government.
Of course, the report also makes clear that for any changes to be effective all implemented future changes to the system of household bins has to be consistent across all councils in order to maximise the value of an education campaign and achieve maximum effectiveness.
Ms McNamara the project director at Infrastructure Victoria said creating a viable local recycling industry is “absolutely possible”.
“I think people would be shocked to know that in the last 15 to 20 years, we’ve basically doubled the amount of waste that we’re generating in Victoria,” she said.
“There are a lot of efforts being made to maximise the amount of recycling, but we really need to move with the times.”
Here is some additional information taken from the report which has been released for public discussion before any final decisions or recommendations are delivered next year.
- China’s decision to stop importing foreign waste has forced Victoria to “urgently reconsider” how it deals with recycling
- Infrastructure Victoria is recommending changes to kerbside collection, such as separating paper and glass
- It says governments should work together to reduce packaging and single-use plastics
Key options in the report:
- Improvements to the management of organic waste, including introducing organic collection facilities in households
- Examining incentives and price signals for the commercial and industrial sector to improve recycling and recovery
- More consistent approach to sorting and collection across councils to reduce confusion
- Changes to kerbside collection, such as separating paper and glass
- Introduction of a waste-to-energy policy
- Establishing viable end markets for recycled products
- Working with Commonwealth and other states to reduce packaging and single-use plastics
- Governments identify measures to increase recycled materials in procurement
- Possible introduction of a container deposit scheme
What we waste:
- Between 2000 and 2018, total waste generated in Victoria nearly doubled from 7.44 million tonnes to 14.5 million tonnes
- Around a third of the total waste generated, and more than half of all kerbside waste, went to landfill in 2017
- ABS data indicates that Victoria is ranked third in terms of the recycling percentage compared with other states and quite far behind world leaders like Wales and Germany
- Around 14 per cent of recovered material was exported overseas in 2017, but China and other destinations are accepting less for recycling
- Waste stockpiling and illegal dumping have been identified as significant problems
- Two waste sources make up the bulk of all waste going to landfill — businesses generate 33 per cent and food makes up 20 per cent
- Of household waste, food makes up 35 per cent of what goes to landfill
- Infrastructure Victoria’s consumer research demonstrates 90 per cent of households are open to changing how they sort their waste
Source: Infrastructure Victoria
Excess Waste Management
If you have excess waste in your backyard or inside the home which you need to get rid of but if general bins are not enough then you can use our mobile skip bin hire Melbourne service and we can manage your green waste rubbish removal along with any old furniture you may have.
Our head office is located in Point Cook which makes us highly efficient to do rubbish removal in western suburbs Melbourne but we provide service across Melbourne.
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Call 1399 397 547 and get a free quote.
Also check out our latest blog on how to stop illegal rubbish dumping?