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Metro Waste News
April 2019

Metro news

Message from the Chair – kerbside recycling update
Councillor Colleen Gates

Cr Colleen Gates, Chair of the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group Board provides a kerbside recycling update.

Back to Earth Initiative to help eastern gardens bloom
Back to Earth Initiative Eastern Gardens Competition

Community groups, kindergartens and schools in Melbourne’s east can nominate a garden or environmental project to win up to $5,000 to make it bloom as part of the Back to Earth Initiative.

Workshop supports smarter and cleaner multi-unit developments

Last month MWRRG hosted a workshop for councils, state government and industry on how to engage with residents and tailor waste and resource recovery services for smarter and cleaner multi-unit developments (MUDs).

From the Forum

Message from the Chair

Message from Cr Lina Messina, Chair of the Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum.

Council spotlight

Monash residents embrace paint recycling scheme
Paint recycling

In 2017-18, Monash Waste Transfer and Recycling Station collected more paint for recycling than any other Paintback collection site nationwide. Over 345,000 kg of paint was collected at the transfer station as part of the industry-led product stewardship scheme.

Policy update

Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund supports recycling industry

On 26 March, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio launched Repurpose It’s new $8.5 million washing plant facility in Epping. The facility, which received $500,000 funding from Round 1 of the Victorian Government’s Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund (RRIF), will divert more than 500,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste from landfill each year.

RRIF Round 4 is now open – with grants between $40,000 and $500,000 available to support greater sorting, improve recovery and reprocessing priority materials such as plastic, paper, cardboard and glass. A further $1.2 million is also available to support the market development of recycled materials, under Round 2 of the $4.5 million Research, Development & Demonstration Program.

Love Food Hate Waste Business launched

Sustainability Victoria has launched a Love Food Hate Waste Business pilot program to help hospitality businesses reduce the environmental and financial impact of food waste.  The free program is available to all Victorian hospitality businesses and provides practical resources like food waste tracking tools, action plans and online support, to help take meaningful steps towards cutting food waste.

Plastic bag ban retailer education website launched

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has engaged the National Retail Association (NRA) to help retailers transition away from lightweight plastic bags ahead of the upcoming state-wide ban from November 2019.

The NRA has launched a comprehensive website designed to provide advice, resources, signage and case studies to help retailers prepare for the ban.

This initiative is Victoria’s first step in a broader agenda to reduce single-use, unnecessary and problematic plastics.

Weird and wonderful waste news

Vietnamese supermarkets replace plastic wrap with banana leaves

Three major supermarket chains in Vietnam are trialling banana leaves as an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic packaging on fruit and vegetables.

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

Events and professional development

Transfer Station Network meeting – 1 May 2019
For local government and transfer station operators

The next Transfer Station Network meeting will be held in partnership with Environment Protection Authority Victoria to provide training on the use and application of the Management and Storage of Combustible Recyclable and Waste Materials CRWM – Guideline. A tour of the Boroondara Transfer Station will give attendees an opportunity to apply the principles of risk and control identification in emergency management scenarios, including fire risk.

If you would like to attend this workshop and have not yet received an invitation, please contact Zandy Powell on 8698 9809 or at

International Compost Awareness Week – VWMA breakfast and site tours
For general public

The Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) is celebrating International Compost Awareness Week with a breakfast event and tours of waste facilities. MWRRG is pleased to partner with VWMA to offer the site tours, which will showcase the technology and approaches adopted by different businesses, sites and operators working to better manage organic waste.

Be informed

Sustainability Victoria launches recovered resources market bulletin
Baled cardboard

Sustainability Victoria has launched the first of 12 monthly bulletins to provide information on markets for recycled materials in Victoria. Each bulletin is designed to provide up to date information on the quantity and destination of materials recovered for recycling, and issues and opportunities for resource recovery in Victoria.

Resource of the month

Back to Earth Initiative – Farmers’ Stories videos
Back to Earth Initiative

International Compost Awareness Week (5-11 May) is just around the corner. It’s a great opportunity to share the Back to Earth Initiative’s Farmers’ Stories videos to promote awareness of the correct usage of kerbside green waste bins and highlight how Melbourne’s green waste is being put to good use helping Victorian farms and gardens grow.

For any questions about the Back to Earth Initiative, please contact Senior Communications Adviser Joshua Rule at

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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