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Metro Waste News
July 2019

Metro news

Announcement from the CEO
Rob Millard

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I recently advised the Board I will not be an applicant for the position of MWRRG CEO at the end of my current contract. 

Having worked in the public sector for many years, in senior executive roles in local government and in state government as CEO of MWRRG for nearly 13 years, I’m looking forward to being more available for my family and to move into the next stage of my working life.

I will be leaving at the end of August so I will be self indulgent and leave my thoughts on this fantastic sector and magnificent organisation to the August edition of the MWRRG newsletter. 



Supporting councils to respond to SKM’s temporary closure

MWRRG has been supporting councils to respond to the temporary closure of major recycling facilities operated by SKM Services. SKM has contracts with 33 councils across Victoria. During July, SKM and associated glass recycling facility, GRS, have been subject to Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) actions to cease accepting material.

Back to Earth Initiative competition winner announced
Livingstone Primary School

Congratulations Livingstone Primary School for winning our Back to Earth Initiative Eastern Garden Competition. Livingstone Primary School will use the $5,000 prize money to significantly reduce the amount of food waste the school sends to landfill by increasing its capacity to compost food waste from one year level to the whole school.

Councils supported to drive community behaviour change

With the support of Sustainability Victoria, we recently held three workshops on developing targeted behaviour change programs to our Local Government Waste Education Network.

Buy Recycled Forum tour showcases recycled content procurement
Buy Recycled Forum tour

Building demand for products made from recycled materials is critical to sustaining a strong kerbside recycling service. The recent Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum tour showcased innovative council projects containing products made with recycled materials, to encourage local government to increase recycled content procurement.

Business networking breakfast shares food waste solutions
Food waste business networking breakfast

We welcomed 100 people from across the food waste supply chain to the ‘Sharing food waste solutions’ business networking breakfast on 20 June. Speakers encouraged guests to adopt practical solutions to their food waste challenges, and companies exhibited their technology solutions during the event held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

MWRRG to sponsor Premier’s Sustainability Awards

MWRRG is sponsoring the government category at this year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards. The government category recognises leadership and excellence by government in the delivery of policies or initiatives that contribute to sustainability. 

We are proud to sponsor an award category that showcases the important role local councils play in delivering a more sustainable future – particularly in waste and resource recovery.

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards are the most prestigious sustainability event in the state. The awards recognise and celebrate individuals, community organisations, governments and businesses who are leading the way in sustainable innovation and practices across all sectors.

Veolia open day demonstrates closing the loop with compost
Veolia open day

On July 11, Veolia hosted an open day at its Bulla Organics Facility to highlight the importance of collaboration between industry, councils and the community to tackle green waste contamination. We were pleased to join councillors and council staff to see how residential green and food waste is processed into compost, which can be purchased back by councils – closing the loop on their green waste recycling.

Council spotlight

E-waste pop-ups educate diverse community in Greater Dandenong
City of Greater Dandenong’s e-waste engagement

This month we showcase the City of Greater Dandenong’s e-waste to landfill ban engagement campaign, tailored to its multicultural community, utilising pop-up displays and simple messaging.

Policy update

E-waste to landfill ban commences – compliance and campaign update

The Victorian e-waste to landfill ban Waste Management Policy (e-waste) came into force on 1 July 2019. The new policy bans the disposal of e-waste to landfill and is supported by an awareness and behaviour change campaign.

Have your say on shifting Victoria to a circular economy

The Victorian Government is developing a circular economy policy for Victoria and has released an issues paper for public consultation. The implementation of a circular economy policy will support Victoria to transition from the traditional linear model of consumption to a circular model that maximises the reuse of materials and reduces the amount of waste that goes to landfill. Shifting to a more circular economy will help make Victoria’s recycling system more resilient and sustainable, grow the economy, increase jobs and reduce impacts on the environment. We strongly encourage you to read the issues paper and have your say on this important topic.

The circular economy policy issues paper is open for consultation until 2 August 2019 at

Weird and wonderful waste news

German company turns coffee grounds into (recyclable) reusable cups

A Berlin-based start-up is recycling one waste stream – coffee grounds, to tackle another one – disposable coffee cups.

If you have a weird or wonderful waste news story to share, please email

Events and professional development

Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum – Recovering organics
For local government

The next Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum meeting will be held on 8 August and will explore policies and practices that improve the recovery and reprocessing of organic waste. Representatives from state and local government and the organics processing industry will share their perspectives in an interactive Q&A session. Forum members have received an invitation to this event. For more information please contact Stakeholder Engagement Adviser Stan Vermeeren on 9698 9829 or

Monash presents Craig Reucassel and ‘The War on E-waste’
For the community

Join Monash Council and Monash University at ‘The War on E-waste’, a free community event to help residents understand more about e-waste and how to recycle it. The event, on Wednesday 21 August, will feature Craig Reucassel from ABC’s War on Waste, and include a Q&A session, so you can ask questions of Craig, council and Monash University staff. Doors open at 6pm, and bring an armful of your e-waste to drop off for free. All e-waste will be recycled. Find out more and book here

2019 Victorian Waste Education Conference
For local government and community groups

Tickets are now available for the 2019 Victorian Waste Education Conference, to be held in Geelong from 15-16 October. ‘Reinventing Waste Education: Turning challenges into opportunities’ aims to inspire and support Victoria’s waste educators across two days of thoughtful, innovative, interactive and strategic discussion on ways to engage communities on waste. Find out more and purchase tickets here

Be informed

  • Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has a new beta website, designed to communicate new environmental laws. EPA welcomes feedback on the site, via this link
  • Regional Innovation for a Circular Economy is hosting a conference for organisations in the Geelong region on Monday 26 August. The conference will cover circular economy principles, state and national perspectives, regional case studies of the circular economy in practice and a masterclass in circular economy design thinking. Find out more and register here
  • Advanced Circular Polymers’ $20 million state-of-the art plastics recycling plant in Somerton was officially opened last month by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D'Ambrosio. The plant will transform large quantities of low-value contaminated mixed plastics into high-quality commodities that can go directly into the manufacture of new products. The project received a $500,000 grant from Sustainability Victoria’s Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund.

Resource of the month

Bin Standardisation Guide
Food waste recycling

The Bin Standardisation Guide supports councils to align their kerbside garbage, recycling and green waste bins with the Australian Standard AS 4123.7.

Standardised bins enable the delivery of consistent education campaigns and reduce resident confusion about how to correctly use their bins. 

The guide presents the case for change, and describes key issues, challenges and opportunities for councils when standardising bins. It also provides tools for councils to plan and implement bin standardisation.

The Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan sets out four strategic objectives which underpin all of MWRRG’s activities:

Reduce waste sent to landfill

Increase organic waste recovered

Deliver community environmental & economic benefits

Plan for Melbourne’s growing population

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