Barwon Water and six local councils are joining forces to transform food, garden and commercial organic waste into renewable energy and nutrient-rich products for agriculture, in a step forward for the circular economy in Victoria.
The City Of Greater Geelong has saved the equivalent of 3500 kilograms of plastic from landfill through a trial of PlastiPhalt, a new form of durable asphalt made from recycled plastics.
The City of Greater Geelong’s new Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020-2030 has been adopted by council this week.
According to a council statement, the strategy aims to support the community actively avoid waste and increase re-use and recycling of products and materials.
“The strategy explains how the City of Greater Geelong will reduce, re-use and minimise waste in the region over the next 10 years, and incorporates recent national and state policies including the state government’s circular economy policy,” the statement reads.
“The vision supports the strategic priority of effective environmental management in the council plan and shows leadership to address waste, climate change and environmental challenges.”
Through a series of planned actions and measurable targets, council expects the strategy to deliver a major shift in the city’s approach to waste management.
Key actions over the life of the strategy include: phasing out single use plastics across city-owned buildings, implementing a trial food organics collection service, preparing a business case for the development of a food organics processing facility and partnering with government agencies to explore opportunities for alternative waste technologies.
City of Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said it was time for the city to approach waste differently.
“This comprehensive strategy is full of clever and creative ways to reduce the city’s waste footprint,” she said.
“The city will transition to a new era of waste and resource recovery management in an effort to minimise the impacts of waste and protect the beautiful natural environment we love so much.”
The City of Greater Geelong has launched a $3 million garden organics composting facility that is able to recover 35,000 tonnes of green organics per year.
Compost from the Geelong Garden Organics Composting Facility will be used on council land, such as parks and ovals, and local farmers. It will see an abatement of 49,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
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Sustainability Victoria provided a $500,000 grant towards the facility on behalf of the Victorian Government.
Projects in regional Victoria have increased the organics processing capacity by 38,250 tonnes per year, with approximately 74,570 households now able to access kerbside collections for food and/or organic waste. With the launch of the new facility, kerbside organics collection services have resulted in an average abatement of 81,621 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said he was delighted to see the organics facility opened.
“We’ve been working closely with the City of Geelong to enable greater recovery of its valuable resources,” he said.
“Victoria’s population could reach 10 million by 2050, putting pressure to our waste recovery and disposal systems. Taking action now through creating and expanding recycling opportunities will greatly reduce the environmental impact of these resources ending up in landfill, and their economic value being lost.
“This project falls under Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan and the Victorian Organics Recovery Strategy, which plans for all viable recovered materials to be extracted from waste streams before reaching landfill,” Mr Krpan said.
The new Geelong facility is able to provide long term benefits such as processing the council’s green organics, with the potential to process additional organic materials such as food.
“Geelong is one of three large regional organics projects funded by the Victorian Government. It followed Ballarat and Bendigo which all now divert large quantities of organics from waste streams,” Mr Krpan said.
Sustainability Victoria’s Optimising Kerbside Collection Systems guide assists councils to increase recycling, improve the quality of recycled quality materials and reduce contamination