VIC council to require food recycling in MUDs

From 1 July, food waste recycling must be included in any new multi-unit developments (MUDs) in the City of Monash, even if a private service is required.

The requirement forms part of the Victorian council’s newly released guidelines for property developers preparing waste management plans for MUDs, and the rollout of kerbside food and green waste collection across the municipality.

Based on the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group’s (MWRRG) Improving resource recovery in MUDs toolkit, Monash’s guidelines aim to achieve a more consistent approach to MUD waste management planning.

According to a MWRRG statement, waste management in MUDs can be a challenge for councils.

Barriers include poorly designed collection areas, variability of service depending on whether it is managed by councils or private contractors and limited opportunities for residents to recycle.

“The construction of large numbers of MUDs in Monash has compounded waste management challenges and motivated the council to develop the guidelines,” the statement reads.

“The guidelines ensure that residents of MUDs are not disadvantaged in their access to recycling options, including food waste recycling.”

City of Monash Mayor Stuart James said the mandatory provision of food waste recycling is an important aspect of the guidelines.

“We need to ensure that no MUD built this decade will deny residents access to food waste recycling simply because it wasn’t designed for it. That is not acceptable for the 2020’s and beyond,” he said.

The guidelines require waste management plans that clearly communicate the responsibilities of different stakeholders.

This is particularly important for occupiers and building operators, who are critical to the success of the building’s waste management systems.

“Hopefully it will bring the architects and the developers together a lot earlier in the design process to produce better waste management plans,” James said.

“Ultimately, we hope to see improved recycling outcomes in MUDs and less impact on streetscapes and neighbouring properties.”

James added that MWRRG’s MUD toolkit provided a strong starting point for the guidelines.

“It helped to provide a framework that was built on extensive industry collaboration and research into how to overcome waste management issues in MUDs,” he said.

“When we’re trying to influence an industry to improve its standards, it helped to have the toolkit standing beside us.”

MWRRG will be evaluating how councils have used the toolkit in their planning process.

The findings will be used to inform updates and additions to the toolkit.

“We have also recently delivered professional training for council planners in partnership with the Planning Institute of Australia,” the MWRRG statement reads.

“The training assists planners to implement state government policies and guidelines for waste management and recycling in MUDs through the planning permit process.”

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