Melbourne to establish two new waste and resource recovery hubs

The City of Melbourne will invest $1 million to establish two new waste and resource recovery hubs in the CBD to help businesses reduce waste and limit the number of bins in city laneways.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the 2020-2021 draft Annual Plan and Budget includes $24 million for residential and commercial waste services, with additional funding to be invested in the new commercial waste and recycling hubs.

“The hubs will allow us to remove 110 commercial bins from city laneways. By increasing waste and recycling options for businesses, we can cut 7000 waste collection truck trips from the city each year,” she said.

“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.

“By creating more resource recovery hubs we can reduce noise, smell, congestion and mess.”

City of Melbourne Environment portfolio chair Cathy Oke said 51 new recycling bins will be installed on city streets this month, with solar-powered sensors to alert waste collectors when the bins need to be emptied.

“Solar powered compactor bins have already helped us cut the number of rubbish truck collections down from 90,000 a month, to just 12,000 a month,” she said.

“Like the solar rubbish bins, solar recycling bins will use gentle compaction to increase capacity to about six times that of a regular recycling bin, which means they don’t need to be emptied as often.

“This helps reduce the number of trucks on our roads, which is great for city amenity and helps to reduce our carbon footprint.”

The new recycling bins will complement the city’s 396 solar compactor rubbish bins which were installed in 2018, and are in addition to the city’s 232 existing public recycling bins.

According to Oke, the new waste and resource recovery hubs and solar recycling bins are part of council’s commitment to investigate new opportunities to manage litter and stimulate circular economy solutions for waste.

“We’re also continuing to support businesses and community groups to reduce waste through $200,000 in grants through the Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund,” she said.

“We’ve faced enormous challenges this year, with devastating bushfires followed by COVID-19, and it’s important that we continue to take climate action while responding to these events.”

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Improving Melbourne’s waste collection solutions

The City of Melbourne has released its Improving Waste Collection in the Central City discussion paper to assess potential waste management solutions for the CBD.

Limiting the number of private waste collection companies or expanding communal garbage and recycling services could be possible solutions to Melbourne’s disruptive rubbish removal system, according to the report.

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Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the paper presents problems and possible solutions to the issues associated with waste collection and bin storage in the CBD.

“Reducing the noise, smell, congestion and mess from waste collections across city streets and laneways is a key priority for the City of Melbourne this World Environment Day,” Cr Capp said.

“From day one of my term, waste management has been top of my agenda and my first meeting was to discuss how our waste system can be better managed.”

Currently rate paying businesses in the City of Melbourne are entitles to a weekly collection of one small garbage bin and one small or large recycling bin. If a business generates more waste, it must arrange their waste services through commercial waste collection companies.

“With 36 commercial providers registered to collect waste within the central city, in addition to council collections, there is a glut of bins and trucks clogging our streets and laneways,” Cr Capp said.

“We need to find a solution, so we’re putting ideas out there to find the best fit for our city. We want to hear from our residents, our businesses and visitors to find out how they’re impacted by the current system and what changes should be made.”

“This is about improving amenity, making it easier, safer and more pleasant to move around the city and maintaining our status as the ‘most liveable’,” she said.

City of Melbourne Environment Portfolio Chair Councillor Cathy Oke said feedback on the discussion paper was part of consultation on the Draft Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030.

“We have done a lot of important and innovative work in waste removal in the central city. Since 2013 the City of Melbourne has taken an estimated 500 rubbish bins off the streets by setting up communal waste compactors and recycling hubs,” Cr Oke said.

“The goal of our new Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy is to build on this work by developing and introducing more initiatives that are focused on maintaining a liveable city, through cost effective and environmentally responsible means.”

The community will be able to submit feedback here. Additional discussion papers will be released next month.

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