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Metro Waste News
October 2019

Metro news

Renewable energy initiative wins prestigious award
DELWP's Victorian Renewable Energy Target Reverse Auction

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s (DELWP) Victorian Renewable Energy Target Reverse Auction won the government category at the Premier’s Sustainability Awards on 10 October. We were proud to sponsor the government category, and congratulate DELWP on the initiative, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy prices for consumers.

Victorian Waste Education Conference explores education opportunities

We were pleased to join inspirational and informative speakers presenting to over 200 delegates at the Victorian Waste Education Conference in Geelong last week. We shared social research findings on the community’s attitudes towards waste and resource recovery and illegal dumping, and our work on tackling waste management in multi-unit developments.

Thanks to organisers Sustainability Victoria and Barwon South West Waste and Resource Recovery Group for an excellent event.

Opportunities in local government recycled content procurement
Recycled road base

Our recent survey on the procurement of products made from recycled materials has identified opportunities to address barriers to increasing recycled content procurement by Victorian councils. Better information, greater confidence, clear specifications and use of tenders have been identified as ways to increase uptake of recycled materials. 

Council spotlight

Zero Waste Map and Proudly Plastic Free tackling waste in Yarra
Yarra's Zero Waste Map

The City of Yarra is supporting local traders to reduce plastic use with its Proudly Plastic Free program, integrated with an online Zero Waste Map for the community.


Plastic bag ban begins 1 November 2019

The Victorian Government’s ban on lightweight plastic bags begins on 1 November 2019. The ban applies to all retailers and includes all lightweight plastic shopping bags which have a thickness below 36 microns, including degradable, biodegradable and compostable bags.

For information about the ban and resources to support traders, please visit

Proposed Regulations now open for public comment

On 1 July 2020, new environment protection laws will come into effect. The new laws will be supported by proposed Regulations and Environment Reference Standards (ERS) developed by Environment Protection Authority Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The Regulations and ERS are now open for public comment, closing on 31 October.

Grants for recovered materials development and research trials

Nine projects will receive a combined total of $1.6 million to invest in development and research trials that make use of recycled glass, plastic, paper and e-waste.

Funded projects include a trial of asphalt made with high proportions of recycled glass, an investigation of alternatives methods for recycling polyethylene, and a project which will test methods to extract silicon from waste photovoltaic panels, then convert it into a useable product.

The projects are funded under Sustainability Victoria’s Research, Development and Demonstration grants program to support innovative research to test and develop new uses and technologies for materials recovered from Victorian household and commercial recycling.

Events and professional development

Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum – Preventing illegal dumping
For local government

The next Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum meeting will be held on 14 November and will explore policies and practices that help prevent illegal dumping. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss methods to combat illegal dumping with a panel of council enforcement experts. Forum members will receive an invitation to this event shortly. For more information please contact Stakeholder Engagement Adviser Stan Vermeeren on 9698 9829 or

Be informed

  • E-waste is the theme of this year’s Victorian Design Challenge. The challenge highlights how designers can shift behaviour, raise awareness, redesign products, or devise smart end-of-life solutions to reduce negative impacts of e-waste. There’s a $20,000 prize for the winning professional design idea and $5,000 for the wining tertiary student design idea. Entries are now open. Find out more and enter before 1 November here
  • Detox Your Home is coming to the University of Melbourne, Reservoir, Hoppers Crossing, Mornington and Melton soon. These events provide an opportunity for people to safely dispose of unwanted household chemicals such as cleaning and car care products, disinfectants, cooking oil, nail-polish remover and detergents. Find out more and register here.  
  • SV has revised the Better Practice Resource Recovery Centre Guide and associated fact sheets. The revised guide incorporates new regulations and guidance, such as the Waste Management Policy (Combustible Recyclable and Waste Materials) which came into effect in August 2018 to address potential fires caused by stockpiling materials at facilities. The Guide and fact sheets can be found here

For action

Submissions sought on resource recovery infrastructure review

Infrastructure Victoria has released the early findings of its review into Victoria’s recycling and resource recovery infrastructure for public comment. Visit Infrastructure Victoria’s website to read the early findings and make a submission before Friday 13 December.

Applications open for Bioenergy Infrastructure Fund grants

The Bioenergy Infrastructure Fund has up to $750,000 available to support projects using bioenergy technologies for the recovery and reprocessing of organic waste from commercial, industrial and municipal sources.

Industry, social enterprises, community groups and government entities working on bioenergy technology solutions can apply via Sustainability Victoria’s website.

Weird and wonderful waste news

Café swaps customers homegrown produce for coffees

A Geelong café is accepting organic homegrown produce in exchange for coffees, to reduce food and packaging waste.

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

Resource of the month

Resource of the month – Food waste reduction case studies
Hands holding food scraps

Find out how small changes can have significant positive outcomes for vulnerable people while diverting more food waste from landfill. These case studies were developed as part of our Commercial and Industrial Waste Strategy, which is supporting businesses to reduce and recover food waste.

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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