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Metro Waste News
May 2019
  • 5 June – World Environment Day food waste business networking breakfast
  • 9 June – Back to Earth Eastern Gardens Competition voting closes
  • 18-20 June – Kerbing illegal dumping forum and investigation training workshops
  • 27 June – ‘Buy Recycled’ Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum Tour

Metro news

New facility to boost Melbourne’s organic processing capacity
Sacyr composting facility opening

We were pleased to attend the opening of Sacyr Environment Australia’s new state-of-the art composting facility in Dandenong South last week. The $65 million facility was made possible under a contract negotiated by MWRRG on behalf of eight metropolitan councils in the south east.

Eliminating single use plastic needs collective action

Action at a national, state and local level is critical to eliminate single use plastics, was the takeaway from the Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum (Forum) held earlier this month. The forthcoming state government plastic bag ban, the work of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation to influence industry, and local action led by councils are all playing a part to make the community less reliant on single use plastics such as bags, straws and packaging.

Residents justify illegal dumping as an act for community good
Illegal dumping social research

Research commissioned by MWRRG has found that attempted or actual charitable acts are often used as a justification for residential dumping of hard waste material. The findings of the research into understanding the factors contributing to illegal dumping in metropolitan Melbourne were presented at the Coffs Harbour Waste Conference last week.

Funding supports action on local litter issues

MWRRG has been awarded $30,000 to develop a Regional Litter Plan for metropolitan Melbourne. The funding, provided by Sustainability Victoria, will enable us to undertake research and develop a Regional Litter Scorecard, which will include actions to tackle the top litter issues facing metropolitan councils: litter in coastal areas and waterways, illegal dumping, roadway litter, cigarette butts and plastics (including microplastics).

The project is currently in the planning phase, with the final Regional Litter Plan to be delivered later this year.

Vote now to help a community, school or kinder garden win $5000

A solar powered veggie patch, a native ‘bush tucker’  preschool space and an accessible garden for people with a disability are among the nominated projects vying for $5,000 from the Back to Earth Initiative eastern garden competition.

We’ve received nearly 60 entries across Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges councils, and are now calling on the community to vote to decide the winner. Voting is open now and runs until 9 June.

Positive actions shared during International Compost Awareness Week

This year, we marked International Compost Awareness Week by partnering with the Victorian Waste Management Association to host a site tour of organisations managing organic waste and encouraged councils to remind residents to keep their green bin free from contamination.

From the Forum

Message from the Chair

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

Council spotlight

New trucks educating community about waste in Boroondara
Paint recycling

The City of Boroondara has rolled out new, eye-catching designs on its waste collection trucks, to educate the community about hard waste, recycling and buying recycled products, waste avoidance, composting and e-waste recycling.

Policy update

Get ready to take your e-waste to a better place

Sustainability Victoria has launched a new campaign hub with additional resources for the Take Your E-waste to A Better Place campaign to further support councils ahead of the e-waste to landfill ban on 1 July 2019.

The hub contains resources for councils to use, including posters, brochures, banners and social media collateral. The second phase of the campaign is underway with council and community activations locally, and advertising kicking off later this month. The second phase of the campaign is underway with council and community activations locally, and advertising kicking off later this month. 

For any questions about the campaign, please contact Campaign Lead (e-waste) Justin Lichtblau at

For action

Entries open for Premier’s Sustainability Awards
Premier's Sustainability Awards

Entries are now open for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards. We encourage individuals, community organisations, local councils and businesses who are leading the way in sustainable innovation to take this opportunity to showcase their activities and projects. Entries close 5pm Thursday 13 June.

Weird and wonderful waste news

Shampoo bottles recycled into artificial limbs

A retired hairdresser from south east Queensland is constructing artificial limbs for children, made from used shampoo bottles collected from local salons.

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

Events and professional development

Food waste business networking breakfast
For food supply chain industry

To mark World Environment Day on 5 June, we will be hosting a food waste business networking breakfast at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). New ideas, research and pilot projects will be showcased, and participants will have the opportunity to engage with other businesses on current and emerging food waste issues within metropolitan Melbourne. The breakfast will be followed by a back of house tour to see how MCEC are reducing food waste to landfill. For more information please contact Senior Strategic Advisor Gayle Seddon on 8698 9805 or

Kerbing illegal dumping forum and investigation training workshops
For local government, state government and community groups

MWRRG and EPA Victoria are co-hosting a forum, Kerbing illegal dumping - new directions, initiatives and legislative changes on 18 June 2019. The forum will be followed by two one-day workshops (19 or 20 June) for enforcement officers on investigating illegal dumping. For more information please contact Program Coordinator Jess Hand on 8698 9841 or

Planning for waste management and recycling in multi-unit developments
Professional training for council planners

Registrations are now open for the training course ‘Planning for waste management and recycling in multi-unit developments’ which was rescheduled to be held on Wednesday 12 June. This Planning Institute of Australia accredited half day course will provide planners with tools and case studies to enhance their capability and motivation to address waste management and recycling in multi-unit, apartment and mixed-use developments. This is the same course provided to council planners in 2018 with positive feedback. Please assist us in the promotion of this event by notifying the statutory planners and waste management planners at your council. Find out more and register here

‘Buy Recycled’ Forum Tour – 27 June
For local government

The next Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum tour will showcase council road and urban infrastructure projects featuring high quality products containing recycled materials. The aim of the tour is to support increased council procurement of these products and to develop markets for recycled materials. For more information please contact Program Co-ordinator Katherine Cocks on 8698 9819 or email

Be informed

  • The Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) is hosting a workshop for councils and businesses in preparation for the upcoming e-waste to landfill ban. The ‘E-waste Ban: Are you ready’ workshop, to be held at Mercure Ballarat on 28 May will provide delegates with information about the public campaign, regulations and existing programs to assist the transition from 1 July. For more information click here.
  • The Detox your Home calendar for 2019-20 is now available on Sustainability Victoria’s website. Sustainability Victoria is encouraging councils to promote the events early, and share them widely via websites, newsletters and social media channels. See the full list of events here
  • Single-use plastic bottles, along with straws and plastic bags, are no longer used or sold at Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary. Congratulations to Zoos Victoria for implementing such a positive initiative to advance the sustainable use of resources and help protect marine wildlife.
  • The Yarra Riverkeeper Association and Cleanwater Group, with support from Melbourne Water will be holding a Yarra River Blitz clean-up event on Sunday 26 of May. Find out more and register here
  • Ocean Crusaders, with support from City of Melbourne and Port of Melbourne will be conducting a paddle against plastics event on Sunday 2 June. Find out more and register here
  • We were pleased to attend the opening of BINGO Industries’ upgraded resource recovery centre in Dynon Road, West Melbourne last month. Upgrades to the facility include a new recovery plant and weighbridge, safety and structural improvements and upgrades to the electrical and fire protection systems, including thermal cameras. BINGO Industries specialises in recovering construction and demolition, and commercial and industrial materials for recycling and end use markets.

Resource of the month

Metropolitan Melbourne council waste strategy database
Waste strategy database

To support knowledge sharing, we recently launched a centralised database of all publicly available metropolitan council waste strategies on our website. Users can now easily access other councils’ strategies when reviewing or developing their own material. If you have any questions or would like to provide an update on your council’s material, please email

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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