EPA Landfill Levy to support the rollout of the Circular Economy Policy

    Published 5 May 2022
    Assisting Council to implement the Circular Economy Policy.

    Helping manage the waste challenges of our increasing population with more people living in apartments, ensuring we help people to recycle more and keep our City clean.

    What is the ask?

    Council is requesting the funds collected from local governments via the Municipal and Industrial Waste Levy be reinvested to support the rollout of the Circular Economy Policy, with a focus on the rollout of the four-service model.  To support this rollout, targeted engagement programs and initiatives are also required to address waste reduction, resource recovery and recycling contamination aligned with inner metropolitan settings and communities, particularly regarding multi-unit developments.

    What is the issue this initiative will address?

    Major changes in the recycling industry have impacted the way waste and recyclables are collected and processed in the City of Port Phillip.

    The recently released Victorian policy, ‘Recycling Victoria, a new economy’, requires Council to transition to a four-service waste collection model.

    Funding initiatives indicated by the Victorian Government are at low levels in comparison to the cost of implementing and delivering new waste services.

    An audit revealed the contamination rate of Port Phillip residential recycling bins rose from 10 per cent in 2019, to 25 per cent in April 2020. Items such as soft plastics, garden waste and e-waste were found, resulting in additional processing costs and some bins’ entire contents being unable to be recycled.

    What is Council proposing?

    Council is proposing the Victorian Government support municipalities to transition to the four-service model, including the urgent establishment of recycling and processing capacity, especially for organics, the development of sustainable end-user markets, and support for alternate models to the four-bin model for councils with a high proportion of high-rise multi-unit developments.

    To support the introduction of the four-service model, a state-wide education program is required to address and promote waste reduction, provide clear guidance on what can be disposed of in the four waste streams and support resource recovery aligned with inner metropolitan settings and communities, particularly regarding multi-unit developments.

    How does this initiative align with the Council Plan and Victorian Government priorities?

    Council

    Council Plan 2021-31: Sustainable Port Phillip - 'Port Phillip manages waste well, maximises reuse and recycling opportunities and supports the circular economy.'

    • We will advocate for increased Victorian Government support to work collaboratively with inner Melbourne councils on innovative waste management approaches, particularly for multi-unit developments.
    • We will advocate for the Australian and Victorian Governments to introduce policy changes that actively foster a circular economy to make more efficient use of our limited natural resources and reduce or avoid waste.

    The proposal is consistent with outcomes identified in our 'Don't Waste It!' Waste Management Strategy 2018-2028.

    Victorian Government

    This request aligns with the Victorian Government's circular economy policy, 'Recycling Victoria, a new economy' which requires all Victorian local governments to provide access to a four-service waste collection model by 2027 (glass) and 2030 Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO). Currently, Council will incur significant costs to both establish and deliver the two additional services. Current funding is insufficient to cover the establishment of these services.

    How does the initiative assist the community to recover from COVID-19?

    Delivery of new waste services and supporting waste education programs within the City of Port Phillip will create both short- and longer-term job opportunities, to support the implementation and longer-term delivery of the new waste services.  The introduction of new waste services will also support residents who have been working from home and producing greater volumes of general waste.

    Cost and current status?

    Cost

    $3.5 million over approximately two years.

    Status

    Council is reviewing our Waste Management Strategy and developing an accelerated waste services transition plan.  We are planning to implement FOGO and glass waste streams in 2023.