Murrindindi Shire Council, together with councils across North-East Victoria, is participating in a joint tender for waste and recycling collection and processing services, so Council can implement the Victorian Government’s 'Recycling Victoria: A new economy' Policy.
The Policy is the Victorian Government's 10-year circular economy policy and action plan to transform the state's recycling sector, reduce waste, and set Victoria up for a more sustainable future.
The Policy requires that all Victorian households have access to separate recycling services for food organics and garden organics (FOGO) and glass. It also requires that kerbside recycling services are standardised across the state. This means that bin colours and lids will be the same everywhere, and that the same things can be recycled in each bin, no matter where you live in Victoria. Everyone will have access to the following waste and recycling services
- general rubbish (garbage destined for landfill)
- mixed recycling (cans, plastic bottles and containers, paper, cardboard)
- food organics and garden organics (FOGO)
- glass recycling (bottles and jars)
Councils across Victoria need to implement these changes and we are now planning how best to do this in Murrindindi Shire. We have the chance to choose how these services are delivered in Murrindindi Shire, based on different community needs.
We will shortly be asking our community how you would like to see these services delivered. Options might include whether waste and recycling services are offered to all residents, and not just those living within a compulsory waste charge zone. We’ll also be asking you to consider the size of your bins, how often they should be collected and whether or not you would prefer a drop-off service for glass or FOGO at our Resource Recovery Centres over a kerbside service.
Once we have a better idea of the costs associated with the delivery of these new services, we'll come back to you with detailed information about each of the available options, including detailed costs, benefits and disadvantages of each option.
Our current kerbside collection service includes a weekly garbage service (red lid) in a 120L bin, and a fortnightly mixed recycling service (yellow lid) in a 240L bin.
The recycling service collects mixed (or commingled) recycling, which includes glass, aluminium and steel cans, plastic bottles and containers, paper and cardboard. Our recycling is transported in the recycling collection truck to the Visy Recycling facility in Banyule, where it is separated into component commodities before being sold or used directly by Visy to make more packaging.
Our garbage waste is disposed of at the Alexandra Landfill, which is owned by Council and operated under an EPA licence.
Like most rural shires, the current waste and recycling collection service is compulsory in township areas. Outside township areas, waste and recycling services are currently optional, if you live along or near the collection/delivery route or zone, and you can choose to have either a garbage or a recycling bin, or both. There are some areas in the Shire that have never had the option of a kerbside waste or recycling collection service
People that do not have a kerbside collection service can drop off their garbage and recycling at Council’s Resource Recovery Centres in Alexandra, Yea, Kinglake, Eildon or Marysville.
Ratepayers who have a kerbside service will see waste and recycling charges on their Rates Notice. This charge covers the costs associated with the kerbside collection service, including waste disposal and processing of recycling. It also helps fund other waste services such as public litter bins and waste education programs and allows us to subsidise prices for at Council's Resource Recovery Centres. Waste service charges are applied to all residential properties with a habitable dwelling, which are located within a compulsory waste charge zone (typically within a township).
For the 2021/22 financial year, the waste garbage charge is $395.80 and the recycling charge is $121.00. Properties with no kerbside collection services do not pay these waste and recycling charges.
In 2020, the Victorian Government released its 10-year circular economy policy, ‘Recycling Victoria: A new economy’. The Policy steps out the systemic change that’s needed to
- increase the quality and volume of recycling and reuse of resources
- reduce waste, landfill and litter
- reduce emissions and contribute to Victoria’s net-zero emissions by 2050
- create new jobs
- build a sustainable and thriving circular economy for a cleaner, greener Victoria
The Policy requires household waste and recycling services be standardised across the state. All households are getting access to four waste and recycling streams, including
- food organics and garden organics (FOGO)
- mixed recyclables
- household rubbish
Councils across Victoria need to implement these changes.
The new four-stream system will improve how we manage waste and recycling in our Shire. It will see glass, FOGO, mixed recyclables, and household rubbish separate at home.
FOGO makes up approximately 65% of waste in residential kerbside garbage bins in Murrindindi Shire. By introducing a FOGO service, we can divert a significant amount of material from landfill and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. And glass, when crushed into paper in the recycling collection truck, contaminates recyclable paper material, making it unusable. By introducing a separate glass recycling service, we can increase the quantity and quality of recycled material, allowing us to get the most value from our resources.
What is the new four-stream system, and do I get to have a say in how these new services are delivered?
The kerbside service will be standardised throughout the state. This means that bin colours and lids will be the same everywhere, and that the same material can be recycled in each bin, no matter where you live in Victoria. However, for many rural and regional areas, the four-bin system might not make the most sense. We can choose how these new services are delivered, based on different community needs.
The changes to the recycling system mean that glass will no longer be able to be collected in mixed recycling bin like it currently is. It will have to be collected separately, via either a kerbside service or at a drop off facility.
The introduction of a separate FOGO recycling service means that people will be able to dispose of household volumes of garden clippings and food waste. Material collected through a FOGO service will be processed at industrial composting facilities, which can process the full range of solid food waste, including meat, onions, and citrus. To facilitate collection of FOGO, many Councils provide ‘kitchen caddies’ and compostable bags.
Council will soon be asking you how you would like to see your waste and recycling services delivered. There are several different options available to us and you’ll get to have your say on variables like
- bin size for each waste and recycling stream (e.g. 80L, 120L, 240L or 360L)
- collection frequency for each stream (e.g. weekly, fortnightly or monthly)
- who gets a kerbside service and who doesn’t
- whether the kerbside services are mandatory or not
- mandatory combinations of bins (e.g. recycling and glass)
Council has not decided how these services will be delivered and will rely on feedback from the community to understand how we can support a logical and cost-effective transition to a four-stream system.
Council’s existing waste and recycling contracts are coming at an end in 2025, which means the new services will be introduced in the same year.
Murrindindi Shire Council, together with councils across North-East Victoria, is participating in a joint tender for waste and recycling collection and processing services, so Council can implement these new services.
By acting now, we are allowing adequate time for service providers to invest in new equipment and facilities to meet the demand of councils across Victoria. By pooling our resources with other regional councils through a joint tender process, we can make the opportunity more attractive for potential providers to invest in our region.
Absolutely. Recycling materials means we don’t rely on raw materials as much to produce goods.
Our landfill accounts for 75% of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by Council’s activities since methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Diverting waste from landfill, particularly organic waste, means we’ll be substantially reducing our emissions.
The introduction of the new four-stream system will come at a cost, and at least some of that cost will need to be recovered from users of these new services.
With different options available to us for the ways we can deliver waste and recycling services, each option will come with different costs. While we don’t yet know the exact costs, they will depend on several factors, including community feedback and preferences for the delivery of the new services, the cost of collection, the availability and cost of processing services, and additional funding support from the Victorian Government.
Council will soon be asking you how you would like to see your waste and recycling services delivered. To support you to provide well-informed feedback, we’ll be completely transparent about these costs, including the benefits and disadvantages of each of the options available to us.
Once we receive and review tender submissions, we can start to put together different pricing models. Some options will be cheaper, and some will be more expensive – some will have better environmental outcomes compared to others, and some will involve less change than others.
That’s great to hear! And keep up the good work. As you may already know, the FOGO service includes the collection of lawn clippings, weeds, leaves and twigs and small branches. It also includes food waste like meat and seafood - cooked or raw (excluding cooked bones and oyster shells) – dairy products, spoiled food, fruit and vegetables and rice and pasta.
We’ll soon be seeking community input feedback on what the new FOGO service will look like. This means you’ll be able to have your say on whether you’d prefer the FOGO service to be a voluntary or mandatory service, and where the service should and shouldn’t apply.
Hard waste collection and management is not a part of the Circular Economy Reform, which is focussed solely on the collection of waste and recycling via the kerbside bin system.
Council operates five Resources Recovery Centres across the Shire to assist ratepayers to manage their hard waste, where the cost of disposal is currently subsidised by those ratepayers with a kerbside service who pay the waste service change.
We acknowledge that this service is not suitable to everyone, especially those without cars. Council is currently investigating options to assist all residents to manage their hard waste.
Community members can have their say on how Victoria’s container deposit scheme (CDS) will work and give feedback on the draft regulations and regulatory impact statement for the scheme.
Set to start in 2023, the CDS will maximise the return of used drink cans, bottles and cartons for recycling and reduce Victoria’s litter by up to half.
The CDS will reward Victorians with a 10-cent refund for every eligible container they return. They can choose to keep the refund or donate the funds to a charity, community group or sports group.
Victorians can now give their views on the plan, which outlines the types of containers accepted in the scheme.
The consultation also covers the number of refund collection points and their operating hours, so that all Victorians in metropolitan, regional and remote areas can benefit from the scheme.
The scheme rewards Victorians with a payment per drink container as an incentive for people to return used containers to maximise recycling.
Consultation is open until Sunday 26 June.
For more information visit engage.vic.gov.au/container-deposit-scheme