What are the future options that Maroondah Council is considering for reducing reliance on landfill?

    There are two service changes that Council is considering:

    1. Introducing a food organics and garden organics (FOGO) service which will allow households to place all food scraps into the garden organics bin.  There would be no changes to the current collection frequency of either the garbage or garden organics bins.

    2. Sending waste to an advanced waste technology instead of to landfill.  The state government will oversee the group procurement of this new processing infrastructure.  As such, the nature of the technology is not decided on but it is likely that it will be a form of thermal processing.

    Where does garbage, recycling and garden organics go once I put my bins out?

    General waste is transported to Hanson’s Wollert Landfill.  Hanson’s Wollert landfill is highly engineered and captures approximately 85% of landfill gases which in turn provides enough alternative energy supply to power 10,000 homes each year.

    Recycling is sent to Polytrade recycling in Dandenong South. Recyclables are sorted & reprocessed ready for manufacture into a variety of products. Polytrade Recycling's Plastic division reprocesses PET & HDPE bottles and then turns them into high quality resins suitable for manufacturing into various products such as PET Soft Drink Packaging / HDPE Milk Bottles, Plastic Recycling Wheelie Bins & Irrigation Pipes. Polytrade Recycling’s Paper division sorts paper and cardboard for local manufacture and exported for new cardboard packaging, newsprint production & other forms of packaging. Sorted glass is turned into new glass bottles and jars, insulation and glass abrasives.

    Garden organics is composted and provided to farms in the Gippsland farming region.  It’s more important than ever that we provide the farmers with clean compost so they can grow food safely.


    Why does it cost money to recycle?

    The materials placed into our blue-lidded bins do have value but, for most packaging items, it’s still cheaper to make them from virgin materials than it is to recycle them.  That means that we need to offset the cost difference in order to make recycling viable.  Victoria also has a small manufacturing industry so there is minimal market pull for the materials.


    What can I do to reduce waste and the associated costs?

    There are changes that everyone can make to what we buy and how we recycle that will have a significant impact on waste reduction and improve recycling.  From what we buy to how we dispose of it, we make choices every day that can help us work towards a more sustainable future.  Here are four simple steps you can take:

    1. Where possible; try to limit how much you consume.  Avoid heavily packaged goods, consider buying in bulk, plan your supermarket trips so that you avoid impulse purchases.

    2. Continue your recycling efforts.

    3. Check what can and can’t be recycled.

    4. Buy products made from recycled materials.  The more people buy recycled goods, the greater the demand for recyclable materials.


    How much do I pay for my waste services?

    Maroondah has a waste charge which is an individual charge on your rates notice.  The different charges are available on the fees and charges page.


    There have been media reports of waste contractors not managing recyclables properly. How is recycling managed in Maroondah?

    Polytrade recycling receive and sort materials from Maroondah’s blue-lidded recycle bins.  Following the restrictions on contaminated waste exports, coupled with a crash in commodity markets worldwide, Maroondah made the decision to invest in our local recycling capacity rather than send recycling to landfill.  This resulted in a price increase to the waste charge but ensured that we could continue to keep our recycling out of landfill.

    How will the strategy be developed?

    The following steps are involved in developing the waste strategy:

    1. Research

    2. Local and state government consultation

    3. Community consultation

    4. Draft strategy

    5. Consultation on draft strategy

    Finalisation and adoption of strategy

    What will be in the strategy?

    The waste strategy will set out a plan for how waste is managed in Maroondah over the next ten years.  The plan will outline what steps need to be taken by Council and the community so that we can make a more sustainable future together.

    Why is a waste strategy needed?

    Each year, the average Maroondah household produces 451 kg of waste which is sent to landfill.  As our population and the amount of waste we produce increases, we’re sending increasingly more waste to landfill.  The state government’s Statewide Waste Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan aims to reduce our reliance on landfills by creating new waste processing infrastructure.  Over the next ten years, this will result in significant changes to the waste and resource recovery industry. 

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of introducing a food organics and garden organics (FOGO) service?

    Advantages

    • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions from landfill. In landfill, food and wet garden organics have the potential to generate methane which has a global warming potential 25-32 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 100-year period and greater over a shorter period. One tonne of food in landfill has potential to generate methane with a warming potential equivalent to over two tonnes of CO2.

    • Reduced environmental risk from landfill. Decomposition of food and other biodegradable organics in landfill generates leachate and organic compounds that make heavy metals and other toxins more soluble and bioavailable. They also cause odour and promote vermin and insects at landfill.

    • Recovery of food organics to compost is more in line with the waste hierarchy principles than decomposition and potential gas capture in landfill.

    • There could be cost savings in the future if the landfill levy increases above the current consumer price index (CPI), restrictions are imposed on landfilling of putrescible waste, or application of a carbon price to greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Reducing the organic fraction of the garbage stream can make it more viable to recover more resources from the garbage stream using advanced waste technologies.

    • Households with garden organics services can dispose of much more organics per fortnight than they could fit into their garbage bins and saves having to manage this waste on site or taking it to a transfer station.

    Potential disadvantages

    • Increased waste and resource recovery costs, particularly if the service is not utilised correctly and contamination clauses are enacted.

    • Environmental and amenity risks associated with the organics processing facilities.

    • Environmental risks from the use of recycled organics if they are contaminated.