We’re developing a new Waste Management Strategy, to ensure that we are delivering what our community wants – which is additional waste services, to cover four different streams of waste management including more recycling services. The four streams cover general waste, general recycling (paper, metal, plastics), glass, and food organics and garden organics (FOGO).

In addition to delivering the services that our community has told us they want, we’re also seeing the level of waste across our community is continuing to increase, which is contributing to driving up costs. This is on top of already-increasing costs of current waste management services, such as increased EPA landfill levies. The aim is to reduce the impact on the environment by reducing the amount of material sent to landfill, which over time will also reduce the costs incurred to process waste in our City. These are challenges that we must address now, because increasing costs are driving increased costs to ratepayers, which is a problem that must be addressed as a priority.

More household waste is being generated in our City as increased numbers of residents work from home and our population grows. This additional waste means extra costs to Council. Shifting recycling markets and increased processing costs, including the cost of contamination, are also placing pressure on costs.

We’re also planning for Victoria’s four-service waste and recycling model under the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria policy. The new system will standardise accepted items for each recycling stream and bin lid colours across the state. These reforms will require all Victorian councils to provide access to a four-service waste model: garbage, recycling, separated glass (by 2027) and food and garden organics (by 2030). As part of this, we’re planning to roll out communal glass recycling hubs and a FOGO service (combination of kerbside bins and communal hubs) across the City in 2023.

Unlike some outer metropolitan, regional and rural councils, many residents in the City of Port Phillip live in apartments or small properties who can’t accommodate additional bins or don’t generate a lot of garden organics.

That’s why we’re proposing to roll out a new hybrid waste model, in which some residents who have gardens and space for additional bins would be allocated a kerbside FOGO bin. And those who don’t have the space or generate much garden material would not be allocated a separate FOGO bin, but instead have access to a communal service, enabling them to drop off FOGO materials at communal recycling collection points in local parks, shopping centres and the like.

This also means that for properties that have a kerbside FOGO bin we can reduce the frequency of their landfill waste bin collection, from weekly to fortnightly, because having the FOGO bin would mean sending a lot less waste to landfill – so their landfill bins also don’t fill up as frequently. This change will also help us to manage the costs for the introduction of new services such as the kerbside FOGO service.

Glass recycling would be offered as a communal service, via drop-off points at different locations across the entire City, for everyone to access. This proposal is based on the results of our recent kerbside glass recycling trials, which indicated that recycled glass volumes don’t warrant a fortnightly kerbside collection. Therefore we’re proposing the introduction of communal glass recycling hubs instead of a kerbside service – which will also give us the opportunity to observe and assess how the Victorian Government’s container deposit scheme works.

We’re committed to meeting our community’s needs in the most efficient way possible, while providing the services our community has told us they really want. The new Waste Management Strategy addresses the problems of increasing levels of waste, and how we can deliver the additional services our community wants. We need to plan how we do this to ensure those services remain affordable, which is critical given waste management costs are predicted to keep rising.

The Waste Management Strategy is how we will manage cost increases, and the actions that we’re going to take to keep costs under control.