Seventeen Victorian councils will share more than $1 million in grants to help prepare residents for a move to a four-bin recycling service.
Macedon Ranges Shire Council in Victoria is rolling out seperate kerbside glass collections, following a successful 2019 trial.
According to a council statment, the decision comes after Macedon Ranges was one of 33 Victorian councils affected by the closure of recycling processor SKM Recycling.
“A new recycling processor has been identified, but only if glass is removed from the household recycling bins,” the statement reads.
In a 2019 statement, Acting Assets and Operations Director Anne-Louise Lindner said residents needed to work with council to find alternatives to landfill.
“We really hope the community will come on board and help us to remove glass from [general] recycling bins,” Ms Lindner said.
“Shards and small pieces of glass can become embedded in paper and cardboard in recycling bins, and contaminate the other recyclables.”
Macedon’s new 140 litre glass-only bins will be collected every four weeks and have purple lids.
Macedon Ranges Shire Council is expanding its kerbside collection to include food organics, after receiving $182,000 in funding from the state government.
According to Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, the project, worth over $460,000, has the potential to divert an estimated 4864 tonnes of organic material from landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8241 tonnes.
“This will support Macedon Ranges Shire Council to better divert food and organic waste from landfill, including providing infrastructure to residents such as kitchen caddies, liners and kerbside bins,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“It’s crucial we continue to support projects like these across regional Victoria – they boost jobs, divert more waste from landfill and reduce emissions.”
Managed by statutory authority Sustainability Victoria, the funding comes from the state government’s $26 million Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund, which aims to support infrastructure investment to improve collection and reprocessing.
Previous recipients include the City of Greater Geelong to develop laneway recycling for retail and hospitality outlets, Advanced Circular Polymers to assist the development of Australia’s largest plastic recycling facility and Ararat Rural City Council to consolidate three existing rural facilities.
Five Victorian councils will share in $1.25 million from Sustainability Victoria, to improve collection, separation and recovery of organics and glass from kerbside recycling.
According to a Sustainability Victoria statement, the funding will allow the councils to divert 28,000 tonnes of organic material and 4600 tonnes of glass from landfill each year.
“With almost half the contents of a household garbage bin being food or garden waste, there is enormous opportunity to collect and reprocess this resource that will improve the value of soils in agricultural production systems,” the statement reads.
“Surf Coast Shire Council have been trialling using existing garden bins to also collect food waste across 3000 households in Anglesea, which has seen a significant 24 per cent reduction in waste being sent to landfill.”
Both Warrnambool City Council and Yarra City Council have received grants to separate glass from the kerbside commingle recycling bin.
“Warrnambool Shire Council received overwhelming public support for a separate recycling bin for glass,” the statement reads.
“The Warrnambool community want to recycle and keep recycled resources local. A separate glass bin allows glass to be recycled locally and creates jobs.”
Maribyrnong City Council: $472,000 to expand its existing garden organics collection to include food waste, and introduce additional collection services.
Yarra City Council: $400,000 to expand on existing collections services that segregate glass and organics.
Macedon Ranges Shire Council: $182,000 to expand its existing garden organics collection to include food waste, and introduce additional collection services.
Surf Coast Shire Council: $150,000 to expand its existing garden organics collection to include food waste, and introduce additional garden and food waste collection services to rural properties.
Warrnambool City Council: $47,000 to provide three seperate recycling collection services, with a new bin exclusively for glass.
Garbage collection was suspended in two Victorian councils after Wheelie Waste revealed on Wednesday it would cease collection of rubbish and recycling bins from numerous areas northwest of Melbourne.
UPDATE: Services have resumed in Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Mount Alexander Shire Council following negotiations between Wheelie Waste and the two parties. Read the initial story below:
The impasse followed the recent China international waste bans, which saw a crackdown on imports of 24 different types of solid waste with contaminant levels of more than 0.5 per cent from Japan, USA, Australia and other source countries.
Macedon Ranges Shire Council comprises areas such as Kyneton, Lancefield and Gisborne, while Mount Alexander Shire Council includes Castlemaine and Maldon.
“We’ve had meetings with a number of the 22 councils that the (contractors) represent, and some have agreed to pay the difference to them this financial year and some haven’t,” Wheelie Waste spokesman David Rako told 3AW.
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“Unfortunately, the cost difference and the lost cost just can’t be borne further by some of the collection companies.”
Mount Alexander Shire Council in a statement said Wheelie Waste informed council the decision was in protest of the Victorian Government’s lack of detail regarding its rebate to address the increased cost of recycling.
Just two weeks ago, the Victorian Government a $13 million package to support the ongoing collection of household waste.
The assistance will go towards helping councils and industries that have been affected by the China policy, giving them and their contractors time to develop longer-term solutions, including renegotiating contracts. Council assistance will be provided until 30 June, though they will be required to meet an increase in recycling costs from 1 July.
“We are in contact with other local councils in a similar position, and will continue to work with the state government and industry to resolve this as soon as possible,” said Rebecca Stockfeld, Acting Director Sustainable Development, Mount Alexander Shire Council.
In a statement, Macedon Ranges Shire Council said:
“Macedon Ranges Shire Council has told its waste collection contractor Wheelie Waste that it has until 9am tomorrow to return to work and resume the service.
“Council was informed early on 7 March by Wheelie Waste that it had suspended its collection of waste, recycling and garden waste services for the shire.
“This action was taken without consultation with council and with no notice.”
Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s Director Assets and Operations, Dale Thornton said if services did not resume at 9am tomorrow, council would consider putting in place alternative arrangements to ensure the service continued.
“The government is aware of the issue and encourages councils and industry to resolve this immediately to restore services,” Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio told Fairfax Media in a statement.