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Metro Waste News
November 2018
  • 5 December: World Soil Day
  • 6 December: Education Network - Paddock to plate to park tour

Metro news

Metro Fund recognised at Inside Waste Awards

We were excited to have the Metropolitan Local Government Waste and Resource Recovery Fund (Metro Fund) recognised at the inaugural Inside Waste Awards last week, winning the Excellence in a Government and Administrative Program category. The Metro Fund was a $5.5 million Victorian Government initiative, administered by MWRRG, that ran from 2011-2017 and assisted councils in metropolitan Melbourne to implement innovative waste collection and management systems. Congratulations to all the nominated organisations and individuals, and thanks to Inside Waste for their commitment to sharing the successes of our industry.

November Forum explores food waste recovery

The final meeting of the Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum for 2018 was held on 15 November, and focused on food waste recovery. MWRRG presented our recently released Introducing a kerbside food and garden organics collection service – A guide for local government, and council perspectives were shared by representatives from the Cities of Darebin, Yarra and Glen Eira. A panel discussion provided an opportunity for attendees to ask questions of experts on implementing kerbside food waste recycling services. Other Forum business included passing motions on the adoption of the Strategies and Policy Advocacy Group (SPAG) and Technical Advisory Reference Group (TARG) Terms of Reference.

Partnership project supports innovation in the vinyl industry

Until recently, there was no viable reprocessing technique or end market for the estimated 5,000 tonnes of vinyl-coated polyester fabric sent to landfill each year in Australia. MWRRG funded part of a pilot commercial and industrial waste partnership project supported by the Vinyl Council of Australia, to investigate the feasibility of recycling this material into roof tiles and produce a preliminary business case for commercialisation.

Research into effective ways of communicating food waste recycling

Independent social research recently commissioned by MWRRG found that 71% of those surveyed believed there needs to be a collective effort to waste less and recycle more, and 64% agree we create too much food waste. The research was undertaken to investigate the most effective ways to communicate and educate residents about food waste recycling, and will be used to help inform councils on the best approach to support the implementation of kerbside food and garden waste collection services.

Forum tour visits innovators reducing food waste in Melbourne’s south east

Last month, members of the Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum participated in a tour of organisations in Cardinia Shire and the City of Greater Dandenong who are working toward reducing food waste throughout the supply chain. Attendees learnt about innovative farming practices at Summer Snow and Bellevue Orchard, the Cardinia Food Movement and Sustainable Food Network, sustainable dining at O.MY restaurant and how the dedicated team at Avocare redistribute food to people in need.

Thanks to all our hosts, presenters and attendees for such an informative and enjoyable day.

Australian City Partnerships Challenge generates sustainability hub ideas

We were pleased to participate in the Australian City Partnerships Challenge ‘Innovation Sprint’, organised by RMIT University on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 November. Participants from industry, research, government and community organisations collaborated on generating innovative ideas to progress the Inner Metropolitan Sustainability Hub project. We are working with the Inner Metropolitan Partnership to prepare a preliminary business case for a sustainability hub at Fishermans Bend in 2018-19.

Council spotlight

Darebin’s food waste recycling trial builds community support

A trial conducted by the City of Darebin has found strong community support for the rollout of food waste recycling for the entire municipality.

Policy update

Funding available for councils to implement e-waste education program
Pile of e-waste

Funding will be provided for councils to support the implementation of the state-wide e-waste education program ahead of the upcoming ban on e-waste to landfill starting 1 July 2019. Applications for the non-competitive grants of $10,000 per council are now open and close Friday 4 January. Application forms and funding guidelines have been sent to councils. 

Funding can be used for supporting community engagement activities including staging events, displays and printing of campaign collateral.

Applications will be assessed and approval of funding notified within 30 days of receipt of application. For queries and advice, please contact Team Leader Programs, Zandy Powell on 8698 9809 or email

EPA releases combustible recyclable and waste materials guideline

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has released a combustible recyclable and waste materials (CRWM) guideline in support of its recently released CRWM policy. We will be supporting EPA to develop and deliver CRWM training for transfer station facilities in early 2019.

Final Fishermans Bend Framework released, incorporating waste and resource recovery goals

The final Fishermans Bend Framework, to guide investment and development of the precinct as it grows over the next 30 years, has been released. One of the eight objectives of the Framework is for Fishermans Bend to be a low waste community. MWRRG has worked closely with the Fishermans Bend Taskforce and councils to develop its waste and resource recovery goals. Key goals include 80% of household waste diverted from landfill, 50% of food waste diverted from landfill, and improved waste and recycling knowledge in the local community. MWRRG will continue to work with partners to finalise the Fishermans Bend Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy in 2019.

For action

We’re hiring

We are looking for a Senior Project Officer - Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Planning to provide emergency management planning advice and training to the Victorian Government waste portfolio and local government. The successful applicant will develop contingency plans, scenarios and procedures that provide the waste and resource recovery system with the capacity and resilience to cope with emergencies such as bushfires, landfill closures, business disruption and biosecurity risks. Applications close 5 December.

2019 Victorian Design Challenge to tackle waste

The theme for the 2019 Victorian Design Challenge is waste, asking the question ‘How can design create meaningful change to reduce, recover or eliminate waste?’ The Challenge embraces new thinking and seeks solutions from all design disciplines, multidisciplinary teams, or from anyone who has a good idea. 

Weird and wonderful waste news

Yellowstone geyser Ear Spring spews up decades-old garbage in rare eruption

This month’s story was shared by MWRRG Senior Communications Adviser Shelley Markham, and highlights why geysers are not a good place to dump rubbish!

Last month, Ear Spring geyser in Yellowstone National Park in the USA, erupted significantly for the first time in over 60 years. After the eruption, park staff were surprised to find that in addition to rocks and water, Ear Spring had also spewed out cigarette butts, a 1930s baby’s dummy, a grizzly bear warning sign and nearly 100 coins.

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

Events and professional development

Education Network - Paddock to plate to park tour (6 December)
For local government
Education Network event

The next Education Network (EdNet) event will be a food and garden waste tour on Thursday 6 December. The ‘Paddock to plate to park’ tour will demonstrate the benefits of using recycled food and garden waste in regenerative agriculture and showcase examples of councils using compost for parks and gardens, and providing it to residents.

If you are a member of EdNet and haven’t received an invitation, please contact Programs Coordinator Gayle Seddon on 8698 9805 or email

Be informed

  • The 2016-17 Victorian Local Government Annual Waste Services Report and Victorian Recycling Industry Annual Waste Services Report are now available on Sustainability Victoria’s website.
  • Congratulations to the Cities of Melbourne, Moreland, Port Phillip and Yarra for winning the Government Award for the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project at the 2018 Premier’s Sustainability Awards on Thursday 11 October. It was a wonderful night, showcasing many inspiring and innovative projects from around Victoria, and we applaud all the nominated organisations and individuals. You can see the complete list of winners here
  • In September, Zoos Victoria celebrated 10 years of the ‘They’re Calling on You’ mobile phone recycling scheme. The scheme aims to recycle 2,000 old phones before the end of 2018 and raise enough money to support a Gorilla Doctors trek in the Democratic Republic of Congo, providing health care to an Eastern Lowland Gorilla group and removing snares from poachers. You can find out more about the scheme here

Resource of the month

Resource of the Month – FOGO Guide
FOGO Guide

Is your council considering a food organics and garden organics (FOGO) service? We have developed a comprehensive guide to help councils design, implement and maintain a high-performing and cost-effective FOGO service. Introducing a kerbside food and garden organics collection service – A guide for local government brings together the latest research, modelling and lessons from FOGO pioneers.

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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