Progress on transition to circular economy

The implementation of a food waste collection trial in Lara and the launch of a modern reusable nappy program are among the City of Greater Geelong’s achievements in the waste and resource recovery space.

Council has noted the first progress report for the Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020-30, that aims to help the organisation and community manage waste and resources and minimise impacts on the environment.

The strategy, which was informed by extensive community input and incorporates recent national and state policies, explains how the City will avoid, reduce, reuse and recover waste over the next 10 years.

The City has delivered on all 79 short, medium and long-term actions in the strategy, despite some projects being delayed by COVID-19 restrictions. Highlights include:

  • Subsidised compost bins and worm farms are now available as part of a new home composting program;
  • Recycled building materials are being trialled in road construction projects, including at Maple Place, Waurn Ponds where 366 tonnes of fine crushed rock was reused and 150,000 plastic bags were diverted from landfill;
  • A compliance campaign was launched and inspectors worked with developers to prevent waste from escaping from building sites;
  • The municipality has offered to be a trial site for the Victorian Government’s container deposit scheme;
  • An expansion of community waste education programs saw a drop in household recycling and garden organic bin contamination;
  • The hard waste collection service introduced as a trial in 2019 is now permanent and available to all residents;
  • Gas at the Drysdale Landfill is captured and turned into electricity, equivalent to powering 1,500 homes each year; and
  • Work is underway to deliver the post-closure plan for the Drysdale Landfill to rehabilitate the site for community recreation use and environment restoration.

The City’s waste programs were recognised at the 2021 Keep Victoria Beautiful Awards, with the Recycled Roads program winning the Waste Award. This contributed to the organisation taking out the overall 2021 Sustainable City award.

Councillor Bruce Harwood:

It was exciting to see the progress being made in achieving council’s waste and resource recovery goals.

Whilst there are many clever and creative projects underway that demonstrate a major shift in our approach to waste management and our transition to a circular economy, there is still room to improve some our current practices.

Particularly around the opportunities for green waste collection and processing ready for market, new technologies relating to putrescible, commercial and industrial waste disposal, and to release the pressure on our landfill sites of the region.

The community has been strong in the message that it wants greater action from council around our environment.

It is incumbent on council to be a leader in tackling waste and protecting our environment, and it requires all levels of government, businesses and communities to take help responsibility.

I look forward to the City creating opportunities in a timely manner and I hope the broader community is inspired to make change in their own lives and organisations, because we all need to step up to make the most impact.

Ongoing performance on the Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020-30

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