Melbourne City Council to consider food waste collection trial

Melbourne council to consider a trial of kerbside bins for food waste.

Melbourne City Council will consider a trial of kerbside bins for food waste this week.

As part of the proposed trial a third kerbside bin for food scraps would be distributed to 700 City of Melbourne residents to test how a domestic food waste collection service could work in the municipality, as part a proposed Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030

On Tuesday (16 April, 2019) councillors will consider the strategy, which also outlines plans to introduce more shared waste hubs for businesses in the central city and remove some commercial bins from the public realm.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the proposed expansion the existing network of five waste hubs would activate laneways, reduce truck movements, boost amenity and make Melbourne more liveable.

“We can dramatically reduce the number of bins lining our laneways and the number of trucks on our streets by creating more central waste drop-off points,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Balcombe Place was transformed last year with a waste hub that has replaced around 20 bins and skips, and as a result we are seeing less illegally dumped rubbish and milk crates left in the lane.”

Chair of the Environment portfolio Councillor Cathy Oke said with food making up 50 per cent of household waste in the municipality, finding a solution for discarded food scraps is a key component of the proposed strategy.

“Our residents discarded an estimated 12,000 tonnes of food waste in 2016–17 and through our engagement with the community we know people want a solution to avoid food going to landfill,” Cr Oke said.

“If the strategy is endorsed, a waste collection trial would be held to determine how collection services could work for residents with kerbside bins.

“A third bin for organic waste would be rolled out to 700 houses in Kensington later this year, building on an earlier trial in 2017.

“Food and garden waste would be collected weekly. The trial would be supported by an education and engagement campaign and help us design an effective waste collection service for the whole municipality in the future.”

In order to address changes to the global recycling industry that have left Victorian councils grappling with a critical oversupply of recyclable material, the strategy seeks to create more demand for recyclable products.

“China and India have restricted their imports and the stockpiling of waste around the state is a major wake-up call for all levels of government,” Cr Oke said.

“We want to drive demand for recycled products by working with state and other local governments to set targets to use recycled content in projects like new roads, footpaths, railway sleepers, and drainage pipes.

“We need government procurement targets for recycling to build Australia’s domestic recycling industry. This would create local jobs in our manufacturing sector and most importantly, stop recyclable material from ending up in landfill.

“We know there is a lot of work to be done on research and standards to ensure products made from recyclable materials are safe and fit for purpose. We are keen to work with industry and government to progress this as a priority. ”

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