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.”