Port Phillip Council is urging the Victorian Government to take a leadership role in recycling and waste management to help create a future where no waste lands in landfills.

Mayor Dick Gross said the recent temporary closure of Council’s recyclables processor to address stockpiling issues highlighted the urgent need for the Victorian Government to be proactive in developing education campaigns and policies to drive change in this key sector.

A Port Phillip Council submission to the Victorian Government’s Parliamentary Inquiry into Recycling and Waste Management says the economic fallout from China’s refusal to accept recyclables over a 0.5 per cent contamination threshold has been largely carried by local government.

“This is why our submission is urging the Victorian Government to seize the opportunity to achieve real change, through both its own initiatives and in collaboration with local and federal governments,” Cr Gross said.

Council’s ten-year Don’t Waste It! waste management strategy stresses the importance of developing a sustainable circular economy where recycled, rather than new, resources are used in manufacturing to maximise waste recovery.

“Our City is committed to moving towards a future where zero waste is taken to landfill. We can’t do it alone and this is why we are asking the Victorian Government to swiftly implement policies, such as minimum standards for locally sourced recycled content in products from packaging to construction materials, to encourage a circular economy.”

The submission cites pool and road safety improvements as examples where consistent and well-funded government education campaigns have changed behaviour. “Why can’t Victorian Government funded waste and recycling education campaigns, underpinned by standardised council services and bin types, bring similar benefits for communities and the environment,” Cr Gross said.

The submission also includes calls for the Victorian Government to:
Provide land for resource recovery hubs, including advanced waste treatment facilities which maximise waste recycling opportunities

Consider bans on organics and recyclables from entering landfills and providing economic incentives for producers to make greener products and support recycling and recovery schemes

Look at whether a structural review into the many Victorian Government departments and agencies involved in waste and resource recovery could result in efficiencies and clarified responsibilities.

The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Recycling and Waste Management is accepting public submissions from organisations and individuals until 31 May 2019. A final report by the Parliamentary Environment and Planning Committee is expected to be completed by 19 August 2019. To view Council’s submission, go to: http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/waste-management.htm