Victoria is set to have the capacity to process an additional 8000 tonnes of plastic annually, thanks to joint funding from the Federal and Victorian Governments.
Geelong City Council is proposing the purchase of a dedicated collection truck to better combat illegal dumping in the community.
The final stage of works to remove the remaining illegally dumped waste at Broderick Road, Lara, has begun with stage three plans to have a further 30,000 cubic metres of pre-sorted materials removed from the site.
The Victorian Government has announced two Renewable Organics Network projects to reduce waste going to landfill by using organic waste to produce electricity.
Municipal recycling will resume for residents on the Bellarine Peninsula 16 December, under a new agreement between Cleanaway and the Geelong Region Alliance.
Kerbside recycling ceased after the collapse of SKM Recycling earlier this year, with the City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire Council, Golden Plains Shire and the Borough of Queenscliffe forced to send recyclables to landfill.
Under the agreement, Cleanaway will work with councils to develop local uses for collected material by identifying local secondary markets, with an initial focus on glass reuse.
According to a Cleanaway statement, the agreement includes a discount for councils with low contamination rates.
City of Greater Geelong Waste Management Chair Ron Nelson said the community had been disappointed to see the contents of yellow bins sent to landfill.
“The return of our kerbside recycling service is very good news. We’re now asking for everyone’s help to make it a success by getting back in the habit of sorting your recycling, and learning about the changes to what can and can’t be put in your yellow bin,” Mr Nelson said.
“In the meantime we will continue to work on new ideas to make sure we have the most effective recycling system possible in the long-term.”
Thousands of cubic metres of material will leave a waste stockpile in Geelong this week, as the EPA begins removing truckloads of contaminated soil.
The Victorian EPA used powers granted under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to take over management at the stockpile in April, after the previous operator let recycling waste grow to dangerous levels.
In a statement at the time, Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the process could take several years, with the state government providing $30 million for clean-up and fire prevention measures.
According to Ms D’Ambrosio, the stockpile contains an estimated 320,000 cubic meters of waste including timber, concrete, brick, plaster, glass and ceramics.
EPA South West Region Manager Carolyn Francis said the contaminated soil will be removed in a closely monitored operation over the next four weeks.
“The soil contains a variety of contaminants including metals, plastics and some asbestos, so the removal operation has been carefully planned,” Ms Francis said.
“The soil will be kept damp during loading to prevent any problems with dust, then sealed in plastic on site for safe transport in covered trucks to a licensed landfill in Melbourne, and will be tracked to their destination by EPA’s electronic Waste Transport Certificate system.”
Ms Francis said the EPA will run additional asbestos fibre air quality monitoring at the site during soil removal, which will be managed by an independent occupational hygienist.
“The removal of this hazard will clear some of the land around the edges of the property and remove a potential source of dust from the site,” Ms Francis said.
The site’s land will likely be sold to recover costs following the cleanup, according to the EPA’s website.
Recycled rubber has been used for the construction of a roundabout in Geelong, a first for south western Victoria.
The innovative road design includes road resurfacing works and the installation of a right-hand turn onto Horseshoe Bend Road from Barwon heads Road, which will allow for better traffic movement.
The intersection of Barwon Heads Road and Marshalltown Road, which functions as a feed for five roads in Geelong, had been flagged for improvement by Regional Roads Victoria following incident reports and multiple near misses over the last five years.
A spokesperson for Regional Roads Victoria said to increase safety, a permanent 60 kilometre per hour speed limit has also been introduced on Barwon Heads Road when drivers are approaching the intersection.
Regional Roads Victoria’s use of recycled rubber follows a recent acceleration in the use of recycled material in roads by local councils in New South Wales and Victoria. A trial in Melbourne last year for example, saw 27 tonnes of recycled rubber used in Tyre Stewardship’s Equine Air paving product and installed on 550 square metres of the Pakenham Racing Club Tynong.
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