The City of Melbourne is seeking innovative technological solutions to expand its network of rubbish and recycling hubs throughout the central city.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said expanding the hub network would streamline collection services and improve public amenity.
“We know there are around 1000 individual bins stored on public property across the central city. Bins in laneways take up space and can cause odour, visual pollution and attract vermin,” Ms Capp said.
“Over the long-term, businesses would be encouraged to use the communal network of resource recovery hubs instead of using on-street bins. As the network expands over time, the number of on-street private waste bins will be reduced.”
Ms Capp said council is asking companies to submit proposals for specialised waste and recycling collection services.
“We will consider everything from mini-compactor bins to specialised vehicles and collection of source separated materials such as glass, organics, paper and cardboard,” Ms Capp said.
“We could tailor our network of hubs to the profile of key precincts around the city. For example, we could deliver more food waste and plastic recycling hubs in our hospitality precincts.”
Ms Capp said council was looking at densely populated international cities such as Milan, which has one of the highest recycling rates in Europe.
“We want to expand our network of waste and recycling hubs to transform the way waste and recycling is collected in the central city,” Ms Capp said.
“Rather than have multiple trucks circling the city, we want to create more communal hubs so businesses can take their items to a local collection point.”
Ms Capp said since 2013, the City of Melbourne has removed more than 500 bins off the streets by providing access to communal garbage compactors and recycling hubs.
Environment Portfolio Chair Cathy Oke said residents and businesses have a critical role to play in helping to reduce waste and find local solutions to the state’s recycling crisis.
“Unfortunately, tonnes of recycling is being sent to landfill, so the most important thing people can do right now is to try to avoid creating waste,” Ms Oke said.
“The City of Melbourne understands this is a state-wide issue and we will continue to examine potential short and long-term solutions such as new technologies.”
Ms Oke said council is also asking residents and businesses to adjust their behaviour to achieve long-term change.
“This means changing the products we buy to ones that have less packaging or things that can be re-used in our homes or workplaces,” Ms Oke said.
“Food waste is an area that almost anyone can cut down on by starting to compost or simply using leftovers to make a new meal instead of throwing them out.”
The City of Melbourne is specifically looking for solutions that include:
— Wi-Fi or radio frequency identification technology that can charge users for the amount of waste calculated / disposed.
— Smart, card, tap technology which can bill users via a pay-as-you-throw waste management system.
— Smart sensors and bin weights to monitor bin levels.
— GPS tracking to help truck drivers know when a bin needs emptying.
— Ability to compact a variety of waste streams for easier storage and collection.