Waste Management Strategy

At the February meeting our Waste Management Strategy was approved by Council. The overarching aim of the Strategy is to grow a sustainable community through proactive waste initiatives and increasing materials recovery.

The strategy helps to provide a pathway to a more circular economy and guidance on future waste management services that Council is considering implementing, such as introducing kerbside organic collections in residential areas.

Initially, green waste only bins will be introduced and change to food and organics (FOGO) when a suitable local organics processing facility is established. The existing bulk green waste collection services will be phased out after an organics collection has commenced.

Council is mindful of the need to reduce waste to landfill. Steps we will take to achieve this will include diverting organics through a dedicated collection service and greater resource recovery from hard waste. Providing residents with subsidised access to the Mornington Park Waste Transfer Station and phasing out the existing kerbside hard waste will also reduce waste taken to landfill.

Council is committed to critically assessing our waste management services and their associated costs to achieve an appropriate level of service and affordability for our community. New services such as FOGO will increase the cost of waste management services, therefore to offset this increase Council is investigating changing the existing weekly garbage collection service to a fortnightly service when the FOGO service is introduced. Our recycling centre operations will also be reviewed as part of the new container refund scheme funded by the 10c levy on beverage containers.

A copy of the Strategy can be found on our website here – Waste Management Strategy

Why is future waste management important?

Council considers waste management a core service and is committed to consultation and working with community on education and implementation of more sustainable practices to reduce, recycle and re-use resources.

The aim of its Waste Management Strategy (Strategy) is to grow a sustainable community through proactive waste initiatives including minimising waste to landfill and increasing materials recovery. The Strategy sets out a pathway to a more circular economy and provides guidance on new and future waste management services.

What new services are proposed in the Strategy?

One of the Strategy’s goals is to divert organics from landfill by introducing a kerbside food and organics collection service (FOGO).

Diverting organics waste from landfill is one significant action Council can take to reduce its carbon footprint as composting produces about 90% less greenhouse gas emissions than landfilling.

Council will take a phased approach as there is currently no local organics processing facility. However, it is anticipated that within 2 years a facility will be operational to accept FOGO.

The first step towards this change will be the roll out from 1 July 2024 of a monthly kerbside green waste 240L wheelie bin service for residential areas.

When FOGO is introduced, the same green waste bin will be used for FOGO and the collection frequency will be re-assessed, taking into account costs and consultation with community.

Existing weekly garbage and recycling services will remain in place and no changes will occur until FOGO is introduced over the next 2 to 3 years.

any change from a weekly to fortnightly collection cycle will be supported through delivery of a larger 240lt bin.

Will the green waste service be offered as opt in or opt out?

Council is working closely with other councils across the state that have already implemented this service to develop criteria that would allow for an opt out option.

What will happen to existing green waste & hard waste services?

The existing green waste and hard waste services will remain in place until July 2024.

Under the Strategy, Council intends to phase out these services over time.

While green waste and hard waste are popular, roadside green and hard waste create safety and amenity issues and generate a large number of complaints. In the long term, Council cannot also guarantee that a suitable contractor will be available to collect bulk green waste and hard waste as many waste management businesses are reluctant to provide this service due to the manual handling risks involved (including rejection of loads due to being too heavy).

Currently, hard waste is primarily taken to landfill. If residents take hard waste directly to a transfer station much higher rates of diversion from landfill will be achieved.

Will rates increase because of the new services?

In simple terms, yes.

The current waste rates structure will remain unchanged for 2023/2024 noting waste management rates charges will be adjusted to reflect increases in fixed costs.

New organics service will be more costly and Council will consult with the community to determine if waste rates will need to increase or service levels adjusted to reduce costs. However, the exact change will depend on the type and frequency of services to be provided, for example if FOGO is weekly or fortnightly.

What impact will the introduction of the Container Refund Scheme (CRS) have on recycling centres?

Recycling centres will be integrated into the CRS when it commences. This service will ‘roll out’ refund points for containers that will replace the existing recycling centres.

The new kerbside collection contract will allow residents to request a larger 240L or 360L recycling bin for recyclable items that the CRS doesn’t collect.