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Metro Waste News
October 2018

Metro news

MWRRG releases the Metropolitan Regional Business Case for advanced waste processing

An important milestone was reached in September with the release of the Metropolitan Regional Business Case for advanced waste processing. The Business Case demonstrates that advanced waste processing is a viable alternative to deal with Melbourne’s growing municipal waste and can reduce Melbourne’s reliance on landfill.

Keeping food and green waste out of landfill: a new guide for councils
FOGO Guide launch

On Thursday 27 September, MWRRG CEO Rob Millard launched Introducing a kerbside food and garden organics collection service – A guide for local government. The guide brings together the latest research, modelling and case studies to help councils provide a high-performing and cost-effective food and garden organics service.

Singaporean delegation visits to discuss closed landfill management

On October 1, MWRRG hosted a delegation from the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore. The delegates were interested to learn about Victoria’s waste management policies and planning considerations, in particular closed landfill management strategies.

Melbourne wholesale market achieves 95 per cent recycling rate
Food waste

Despite the challenges that come with managing large commercial waste streams, fruit, vegetable and flower wholesaler, Melbourne Market, achieved an impressive average recycling rate of 95 per cent in 2017-18. MWRRG staff recently visited the market to find out how it’s done.

Network meetings showcase opportunities and recycling education

Last month we hosted a Resource Recovery Centre and Transfer Station (RRC/TS) Network meeting and Councils Litter Environment Action Network (CLEAN) and Local Government Waste Education Network (Ed Net) events for local government.

Attendees of the RRC/TS Network meeting toured Knox Transfer Station’s Processed Engineered Fuel facility, while the CLEAN/Ed Net meeting focussed on Sustainability Victoria’s state-wide recycling campaign.

Council spotlight

Wyndham’s Waste Watchers program helps residents cut waste
Council Spotlight - Wyndham Waste Watchers

Wyndham City’s new ‘Waste Watchers’ program—which educates participants on waste reduction, recycling and home composting—has supported 10 families to reduce their household waste by 68 per cent.

Policy update

Better Bag Habits education campaign launched
Better Bag Habits campaign

The Minister for Energy, Environment & Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio has launched an education campaign to encourage Victorians to use reusable shopping bags, ahead of the 2019 ban on lightweight, single-use plastic bags.

Combustible Recyclable and Waste Materials policy takes effect

Environment Protection Authority Victoria’s (EPA) Waste Management Policy (Combustible Recyclable and Waste Materials) came into effect on 28 August 2018, replacing an interim policy.

New environment protection laws pass Parliament

The Victorian Government’s new environment protection laws have passed Parliament. The Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 includes a new approach to environmental issues, focusing on preventing waste and pollution impacts rather than managing those impacts after they have occurred.

For action

Despatch of Victorian Local Government Annual Survey 2017-18

The Victorian Local Government Annual Survey 2017-18 regarding kerbside services was despatched to all 79 Victorian councils on 19 September. Please ensure your council completes the survey by 26 October 2018. If you have any questions, please contact Nick Chrisant at Sustainability Victoria, on 8626 8716.

Weird and wonderful waste news

Billions of contact lenses flushed down the sink or toilet each year

This month’s story was shared by MWRRG Stakeholder Engagement Adviser Stan Vermeeren, and highlights an unexpected source of marine pollution.

Researchers at Arizona State University in the United States have found that up to 20 per cent of contact lens wearers are flushing the lenses down the sink or toilet, contributing to microplastic pollution in the oceans.

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

Events and professional development

Victorian Waste Education Conference - Bendigo (23-24 October)

There’s still time to register for the 2018 Victorian Waste Education Conference. The conference, to be held at the All Seasons Hotel in Bendigo on 23-24 October, will be co-hosted by Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource Recovery Group and Sustainability Victoria. Leading waste and resource recovery consultant Helen Millicer will deliver the keynote address, discussing the role of educators in our shift to a more circular economy, while the workshop program will cover food organics and garden organics, litter and illegal dumping and resource recovery.

Improving illegal dumping data collection – DumpInData training
For local government

With illegal dumping a key litter issue for Victorian councils, good data collection is essential for planning effective interventions. DumpInData is a free and easy to use online tool for councils to record illegal dumping data. Users can record incidences of dumped rubbish using the DumpInData app on a mobile phone, including location, material types, disposal cost, weight and source sector. The data can then be viewed and shared on an interactive map on a computer or smart phone.

On Tuesday 30 October we will be running a training session at Hume City Council’s Parks and Services Depot on the use of the DumpInData tool. If you are interested in attending this session, please contact Litter and Illegal Dumping Program Coordinator Jess Hand on 8698 9841.

Detox Your Home events coming up
For general public
Detox Your Home

Sustainability Victoria is holding a number of Detox Your Home events for households to dispose of toxic chemicals. Upcoming events will be held in Reservoir (Sat 3 November), Hoppers Crossing (Sat 17 November) and Mornington (Sat 24 November).

Be informed

  • Congratulations to all finalists in the 2018 Premier’s Sustainability Awards. We would especially like to highlight metropolitan Melbourne local government finalists, the cities of Melbourne, Port Phillip, Yarra and Moreland. Finalists have been recognised for a wide variety of activities, including projects focussing on composting, food waste reduction, waste avoidance and reducing plastic pollution. See the full list of finalists here
  • The City of Yarra is seeking a new Waste Minimisation Officer to continue and accelerate the work they do in engaging and leading their community and operate as a sustainable organisation. Click here to find out more.

Resource of the month

Research into community attitudes towards food waste recycling

In 2017, independent social research commissioned by MWRRG found that 71 per cent of the respondents were willing to separate and recycle food waste via their kerbside waste collection system.

The research identified the barriers faced by local government when introducing a kerbside food and garden organics collection service which has helped inform a new publication by MWRRG: Introducing a kerbside food and garden organics collection service – A guide for local government.

Food scraps

MWRRG is now conducting new research to look at the most effective ways to communicate and educate residents about separating food waste. Findings from this research will be shared with local councils before the end of the year.

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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