City set to fast-track its waste strategy

The City of Melbourne will fast-track the delivery of parts of its Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy and bring forward investment in infrastructure and new technologies to deal with the State’s recycling crisis and minimise waste.

​Lord Mayor Sally Capp said
the City of Melbourne would investigate ways to reduce contamination in
recycled products 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,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We are going to increase the number of shared waste hubs for businesses in the
central city and work with businesses to reduce the amount of waste they
produce. We know that what works in our laneways will be different to what’s
required for large apartment block and other residential areas.”

“Our team is examining international best practices and will run an Expression
of Interest Process looking for technologies that could be used in Melbourne’s
inner city laneways. This could include using everything from mini-compactor
bins, to specialised vehicles, and collection of source separated materials
such as glass, organics, paper and cardboard.”

“Ultimately we need to work towards the model used by many European countries
where recycling streams are collected and processed separately. This is not a
process that can be tackled by individual municipalities so we will be working
with other councils, the Victorian Government and the community to achieve
long-term change.”

Following SKM’s decision to no longer accept our recycling, the City of
Melbourne has been forced to send 45 tonnes of recycling to landfill each day.

Annually, more than 51,000 tonnes of waste including recycling is collected
from City of Melbourne household and public street litter bins.

As part of its response, the City of Melbourne and its subsidiary, Citywide,
will run an independent feasibility study into establishing a new large-scale
recycling centre, known as a Material Recovery Facility, 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,” the Lord Mayor 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.”

City of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio Chair Cr Cathy Oke said local
residents and businesses also needed to play their part to reduce contamination
of the waste stream.

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

“We don’t want people to lose their good recycling habits. We’re hopeful of
delivering short and long-term solutions to this crisis.

“We need to provide a cleaner product for our recycling industry to return to a
more sustainable and stable footing. That means reducing contamination from
items like greasy pizza boxes, which don’t belong in the recycling.”

“Ultimately we need to encourage everyone to reduce the amount of waste they’re
producing in the first instance.”

/Public Release. View in full here.