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Victorian Government unveils organic waste plan

The Victorian Government has revealed a plan to divert more than half a million tonnes of food and garden waste away from Melbourne’s landfills annually.

Through its Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group, two major agreements have been secured by councils including:

  • five councils in Melbourne’s east – Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges – which have appointed Van Schaiks Bio Gro and Enviromix as the preferred tenderers
  • eight councils in Melbourne’s southeast – Bayside, Cardinia, Casey, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Kingston and Monash – which have signed contracts with Veolia Environmental Services, Cleanaway and Sacyr Industrial to process organics.

The Government said the contracts will ensure Melbourne’s organics processing network is on track to exceed the target set out in the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan of 400,000 tonnes of capacity by 2021.

They said the agreements will create up to 100 jobs during construction and establishment of the compost facility and between 25 to 30 positions on-going.

The Government said the increase in the capacity of Melbourne’s organics processing network opens up opportunities for councils to expand kerbside green waste collections to include food waste. It also provides sufficient capacity for business and industry to be able to divert commercial food waste away from landfill.

Diverting food and garden waste from landfills means that methane produced during decomposition is not released to the atmosphere where it is a major greenhouse gas.

Methane released to the atmosphere is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide which traps heat and contributes to climate change.

Melbourne’s waste is projected to grow from 10.4 million to 16.5 million tonnes by 2042.

“These contracts will go a long way to taking tonnes of food and garden waste out of Melbourne’s landfill,” Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said.

“Increasing the recovery of organic waste is one of four key strategic objectives of the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan.”