Draft Waste Plan to help stop recyclables ending up in landfill

Published on 14 September 2022

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Community members are being invited to read and comment on Council’s Draft Community Waste and Resource Recovery Plan, which outlines how bin services could change locally in the next five years.

The draft plan – which has considered feedback from more than 7,000 residents – sets out how our community could minimise the proportion of rubbish that is sent to landfill and maximise what’s  composted and recycled.  

The Plan features a move to a four- bin waste collection system. The first stage – introducing a combined food and garden organics bin - is set to take place in October 2023.

Households that already have a garden organics bin will use this bin for the collection, and those who don’t currently have a lime-green lidded bin will receive one before October 2023. The food and garden organics bin will be collected weekly.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Cr Jim Child, said the plan was prompted by the State Government’s Recycling Victoria policy, where every household in Victoria will move to a four-stream collection system, separating food and organics from landfill, and separating glass from other recyclables.

“This is probably one of the biggest decisions we’re currently making at Council, because this will affect everybody,” Cr Child said.

“When the Recycling Victoria Policy came into place we knew that as a state this was going to bring widespread change, but we at Council fully support the approach.

“The one thing we have to educate everyone on is the fact that, when you throw things in the bin, they don’t just go away. The things you get rid of either get recycled and re-used, turned into something new – or they’re buried in landfill, where they slowly decompose over hundreds and sometimes thousands of years and can have a big impact on the environment.

“For us to leave a better world behind for the next generation, we have to make sure everything possible gets recycled and re-used, and we avoid landfill wherever we can.

“It will take time to adjust to these changes, but everyone – from community members, to our environment and the people who inherit our world decades from now – will be better for it.

“Of course, we’ll be here to help as this plan rolls out, and I encourage everyone in the community to look at the draft plan and let us know their thoughts.”

Deputy Mayor, Johanna Skelton, said that the introduction of a food and organics bin (FOGO) would assist the Yarra Ranges community in doing their bit for the environment.

“Keeping food and organics out of landfill is one of the most simple and effective things we can do for our environment. This will get that carbon back into the soil, on farms and in gardens.” Cr Skelton said.

“The numbers tell us, across the state, that around 40 per cent of our current rubbish bins are filled with material that would actually go into a FOGO bin and be composted, while around 10 per cent of rubbish bins contain recyclable plastics, glass, paper and cardboard that should be going in the recycling bin.

“Moving to a fortnightly for landfill collection is a big change and is more of an issue for some community members than others. This is the time to make sure your situation has been considered. The reality is that for most households, a lot of what currently goes in your waste bin will go in your FOGO. We’ll be supporting our community with useful information, ideas and support for composting and reusables – like cloth nappies and reusable sanitary products – as this plan rolls out.

“We’ll also be advocating to the Federal and State Governments for better manufacturing standards, to find alternatives to single use plastics, encouraging use of biodegradable materials and more easily recycled materials to stop the issue at the source.”

Community engagement on the Draft Plan will be open for eight weeks, including an online survey, webinars, pop-up stalls at events and locations to ensure everyone has access to have their say.

To view the draft plan, to find out what public events are planned, and have your say, visit https://shaping.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/draft-community-waste-and-resource-recovery-plan