The Victorian Waste Management Association is asking State and Local Government to extend hours of domestic collection due to changing waste volumes during stay at home orders across the region, writes Executive Officer Alex Serpo.
In just two months, Boroondara residents have increased the amount of waste they divert from landfill from 49 per cent to almost 70 per cent.
Residents in the City of Mount Gambier in South Australia will have the option to pick up kerbside bulky waste via a ‘call and collect’ system.
The City of Mount Gambier will trial a kerbside bulky waste collection over a six month period from 1 July 2020.
Each residential property will be eligible for one pick up of up to two cubic metres of bulky waste via a ‘call and collect’ system, part of the council’s initiative towards supporting residents during COVID-19.
The service is proposed to have cost implications of up to $200,000 over the trial period with resources allocated via the ‘Our City, Our Response’ COVID-19 strategy, which will seek to employ locals who are experiencing unemployment as a result of the pandemic.
Mayor Lynette Martin OAM said hard waste has been an issue for some time in the city.
“Council often receive feedback requesting a service of this type, so this presents an ideal time to test the service provision in a measured way,” she said.
“It is hoped that the trial will test if hard waste collection will be a suitable option long term to ensure that items are separated correctly to maximise recycling and reuse, and minimise waste to landfill.”
Conditions will apply to the service in terms of the types of waste that will be accepted with an aim to reduce waste to landfill and encourage responsible disposal of household items.
Aaron Izzard, City of Mount Gambier Environmental Sustainability Officer, said since the establishment of the ReUse Market, residents have had the option to dispose of good quality items for free at the Waste Transfer Station, however there are many residents who are unable to transport these goods.
Izzard said the overall goal is to ease the burden of cost and transport for disposing items, whilst also reducing illegal dumping.
“Examples of items that could be accepted include televisions, furniture, white goods and material offcuts such as timber, iron etc, while those that would be considered unacceptable include asbestos and other hazardous waste, car batteries, shoes and clothing, gas bottles and tyres and car parts to name a few,” he said.
Elected Members endorsed the ‘by-appointment’ waste option at Council May meeting on Tuesday May 19.
Further information about how residents can access the service will be released by Council in the coming weeks.
The South Australian Government has approved $1.7 million in funding for projects designed to reduce household waste sent to landfill.
Environment Minister David Speirs said the funding, delivered through Green Industries SA, will assist councils upgrade and modernise waste collection and recycling services and increase kerbside diversion rates through innovation and improved efficiencies.
“Twenty-two regional councils will also benefit from transport subsidies, which will support councils’ continued recycling efforts by offsetting some of the extra costs associated with processing and transporting collected recyclables,” Mr Speirs said.
Councils awarded under the Regional Transport Subsidies Program include the City of Mount Gambier, Berri Barmera Council, City of Port Lincoln and the Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority, which represents Alexandrina, Victor Harbor, Yankalilla and Kangaroo Island councils.
According to Mr Speirs, funding is allocated under three programs – one to reduce food waste sent to landfill, another to help councils modernise their collection systems and the other for regional council transport subsidies.
“Improved waste management is not only good for the environment, but it contributes to South Australia’s economic growth by creating jobs and developing new business opportunities to recycle and reuse our resources right here in South Australia,” he said.
The largest area for improvement in council kerbside systems is food waste, Mr Speirs said, which makes up approximately 40 per cent of the weight of household residual waste bins sent to landfill.
“By supporting councils to improve their collection of food waste we can lower waste management costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a valuable resource like compost,” he said.
“I congratulate the seven councils awarded funding under the Kerbside Performance Plus (Food Organics) Incentives Program for their commitment towards implementing systems which assist with the diversion of food waste from landfill.”
Under the program, councils receive a subsidy for the cost of bench-top containers, compostable bags and production of householder education material.
Awarded councils include the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, which received $106,765 to reinvigorate an area-wide system for 20,900 households, and the City of Tea Tree Gully, which received $73,588 to improve its opt-in service for 8000 households.
Twelve local government organisations have also received funding to help modernise their collection services to increase landfill diversion, decrease contamination levels and improve data collection.
“Congratulations to the 12 local government organisations who are willing to push the envelope with investment in alternative delivery models and technologies such as smart bins to improve operational efficiencies,” Mr Speirs said.
Local government organisations awarded under the Council Modernisation Program include East Waste, which received $90,000 for Fight Food waste CRC audits and research, and Holdfast Bay, which received $97,900 for a weekly food and green organics collection pilot.
With much discussion on a four-bin system in Victoria, the key questions are: how will it work? and what will it achieve? writes Jenni Downes, Research Fellow at BehaviourWorks.
Hobsons Bay in Victoria is taking its four-bin waste and recycling service into the digital space, with the launch of council’s Recycling 2.0 App.
Designed to help Hobsons Bay residents recycle correctly, the app offers residents up-to-date information about council’s new kerbside collection service, which launched in early February.
According to Hobsons Bay Mayor Colleen Gates, Recycling 2.0 App is an intuitive platform that will grow in capability over the coming months.
“Until now we’ve said if in doubt leave it out (of your yellow and light green bins), but now the Recycling 2.0 App will provide further clarity for residents on which items can go into each bin,” she said.
“As we face a very unusual time in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, we understand people have bigger worries. However, while we are all spending more time home, this is the perfect opportunity to work out which bin is best for your waste and recycling materials.”
The first release includes features such as a personalised bin schedule that allows residents to enter their address to find out which bins to put out. Ms Gates adds that future app releases will include timed bin collection reminders.
Additional features include Which Bin Does This Go In: an interactive tool residents can use to understand which bin a particular item goes in, and a feedback page for users to suggest improvements and additional features.
Developed with a range of community and user feedback, council partnered with not-for-profit organisation Code for Australia to build the Recycling 2.0 App.
“Additional features will be added in coming months, guided by further user testing and engagement with residents,” Ms Gates said.
“Plans include the development of more interactive material and games to make recycling fun. Council welcomes community feedback.”
A year after state-wide disruptions to Victoria’s recycling industry, a small municipality in the state’s south west has quietly taken matters into its own hands, Annette Cannon, Moyne Shire Council Waste Education Officer explains.
Shane Walden, Macedon Ranges Shire Council Director of assets and operations, explains the process that led to council’s 2020 introduction of kerbside glass and organics collections.
The Victorian Government will introduce a container deposit scheme (CDS) by 2023, as part of a new suite of initiatives to reduce waste to landfill by 80 per cent over 10 years.
A four bin kerbside system will also be rolled out as part of a $129 million overhaul of the state’s waste and recycling sector, with seperate bins for glass, food and garden organics, household waste and plastic, metal and paper.
Premier Daniel Andrews said that by collecting glass separately, Victoria can ensure effective recycling, with jars and bottles transformed multiple times into different products, including new roads and footpaths.
“Separate glass collection will also make recovery of other recyclables – like plastic, metal and paper – simpler, with the food and organic bin significantly reducing the amount of waste going to landfill,” he said.
According to Mr Andrews, the bin rollout will begin gradually next year – informed by the needs of local communities and existing council contracts.
“There will also be special arrangements for remote regional households and people in apartments, to ensure everyone gets access to the new four-bin system,” he said.
“This represents a holistic approach to reducing, reusing and recycling our state’s waste. That’s good news for Victoria’s environment and good news for Victorian jobs.”
Waste management will also be classified as an essential service under the new system, to ensure a basic standard of service across the state.
Additionally, a dedicated waste authority will be established to help the state better govern its recycling system and hold waste service providers to account.
“An education and behaviour change campaign will support the rollout of the initiatives. It will target households, businesses, councils, community groups and charities – helping them transition to the new system,” Mr Andrews added.
The Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) has welcomed the changes, highlighting Victoria as the only Australian jurisdiction without a CDS currently in place.
VWMA CEO Peter Anderson said the association sees tremendous benefits for Victoria through the introduction of the scheme, including less rubbish sent to landfill, less litter from single use items covered by the scheme and the opportunity to further build public awareness about waste and recycling.
“The Victorian Government is to be congratulated for listening to stakeholders from the waste and recycling sector on the development of this CDS, which will transform how Victorians dispose of certain materials,” Mr Anderson said.
“It’s important that Victorians understand that this is not about imposing additional costs or inconvenience when it comes to disposal of recyclables. It’s about dramatically increasing the amount of waste that gets recycled and, conversely, reducing how much we send to landfill.”
The VWMA has worked closely with the Victorian Government to establish the scheme, Mr Anderson said, and looks forward to further engagement and consultation.
“As part of the transition to a CDS, change and adjustment will be required of every Victorian household and we may need to do things differently,” he said.
“Changes to the size of our bins and frequency of collection will be likely, and we look forward to working with the Victorian Government to help educate Victorians on the many environmental and economic benefits a CDS will deliver.”
South Australia’s first electric-powered kerbside collection truck has taken to the streets of metropolitan Adelaide this week.
The new truck is owned and operated by waste and resource management company East Waste, a subsidiary of seven metropolitan Adelaide councils.
East Waste General Manager Rob Gregory said the new truck replaces a diesel-powered truck and, with zero emissions, will remove the equivalent of 20 vehicles generating 63 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year from Adelaide’s suburban streets.
The truck, supplied by Australian company Superior Pak with drivetrain technology from SEA Electric, is the first in a fleet replacement program.
“It will deliver financial gain to better manage the cost of kerbside collections of recyclable resources and waste,” Mr Gregory said.
“We conservatively project that our new electric vehicle will save more than $220,000 over the seven-year life of its diesel predecessor.”
According to Mr Gregory, East Waste has installed a 30 kilowatt solar system at its Ottaway depot to produce renewable energy for the truck’s batteries.
“Residents will fall in love with our new truck without realising it,” he said.
“With reduced air pollution comes the removal of noise pollution as the truck travels from house to house on bin collection day. It is almost silent.”