Geelong adopts new waste strategy

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.”

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Melbourne fast-tracks waste strategy

The City of Melbourne will fast-track the delivery of its Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy and bring investment in infrastructure forward.

Following SKM’s decision to no longer accept waste material, the city has been forced to send 45 tonnes of recycling to landfill each day.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the city, and its subsidiary Citywide, will run an independent feasibility study into establishing a large-scale recycling centre in Greater Melbourne.

“As a matter of urgency, our waste collection business Citywide will work with independent experts to look at the best way to create a specialised recycling facility in Victoria that will be stable and sustainable,” Ms Capp said.

“The study will consider the potential size and location for a new facility, as well as the number of municipalities it could service. It would also consider the level of recycled material required for it to be viable and potential markets for recycled materials.”

Ms Capp said the city would also investigate new ways to reduce contamination throughout the municipality.

“We want to stop recyclables going to landfill as soon as possible and deliver long-term improvements for our residents and businesses,” Ms Capp said.

“We are going to increase the number of shared waste hubs for businesses in the central city.”

Ms Capp said the city is also examining international best practices and will run an expression of interest period for technology usable in Melbourne’s inner city laneways.

“This could include using everything from mini-compactor bins, specialised vehicles and collection of source separated materials such as glass, organics, paper and cardboard,” Ms Capp said.

“Ultimately we need to work towards the model used by many European countries where recycling streams are collected and processed separately.”

According to Ms Capp, the issue cannot be tackled by individual municipalities.

“The City of Melbourne will be working with other councils, the Victorian Government and the community to achieve long-term change,” Ms Capp said.

City of Melbourne Environment Chair Cathy Oke said local residents and businesses also needed to play their part to reduce contamination in waste streams.

“Rather than send our recycling overseas, we will examine the feasibility and cost of preparing materials for manufacturing use here in Victoria,” Ms Oke said.

“We need to provide a cleaner product for our recycling industry to return to a more sustainable and stable footing.”

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