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Saving food waste from landfill? We’re on it

Waste is changing — and we’re changing with it. Starting from 26 July, green bins will be collected every week, and red bins every two weeks.

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The world of waste has had some major changes over the past few years. With greater awareness of the impact our waste has on the environment, our community has been working to save food from landfill since May 2018. Now, all Victorian councils are aiming to halve the volume of organic material going to landfill by 2030. 

So, starting from Monday 26 July, we will be collecting green bins weekly, and red bins every second week. Yellow bins will still be collected every second week, alternating with the red bin.   

This means all our food and garden waste will be taken each week to be composted — and used to nourish soils on Victorian farms and gardens.

Why is waste changing?

Currently, 40 per cent of the waste in our red bins is food and organic waste. This releases significant carbon emissions and contributes to higher landfill costs — having a negative impact on our environment and driving up waste charges every year.

A trial of a weekly green, fortnightly red bin collection since October 2019 for approximately 1,000 households in McKinnon/Ormond showed this frequency better supports recycling of food and garden waste, almost doubling the rate of food recycling and reducing waste to landfill by 29 per cent.

Keeping food waste out of the tip is one of the easiest ways to cut carbon emissions and combat climate change, keep costs in check and turn our food waste into something useful. This is better waste sorting for a greener Glen Eira.

What does this mean for me?

  • As we approach July, we will send you a new waste calendar and explain what this change means for your house, flat or unit. Unsure what goes where? We’ve put together a waste sorting toolkit with tips and tricks to assist you, that each household will receive in June.
  • To order a green bin, or if you have questions or queries, you can email us at recyclingandwaste@gleneira.vic.gov.au or call 9524 3333.

If your household is included in the following groups, you are eligible for a larger or additional red bin and additional yellow bin at no extra cost:

  • families with six or more members
  • families with four or more members, where at least one member is a concession card holder
  • families with children in nappies
  • households with additional waste for medical reasons.

You will need to complete and submit our online special waste application and attach the relevant supporting documents.

Family — supporting documents

Families with six or more members:

  • evidence to show that there is a family of six (6) or more at the property (a Medicare card or similar)
  • if you are a renter, evidence that shows you are a resident (eg. a utility bill or lease).

Families with four or more members, where at least one member is a concession card holder:

  • evidence to show there is a family of four (4) or more at the property (a Medicare card or similar).
  • a copy of a current State Government concession card (eg. a Health Care Card in the name of one of the residents at the property).
  • if you are a renter, evidence that shows you are a resident (eg. a utility bill or lease).

Families with children in nappies:

  • evidence to show that there is a family of two (2) or more at the property (a Medicare card or similar)
  • if you are a renter, evidence that shows you are a resident (eg. a utility bill or lease).

Medical — supporting documents

Households with additional waste for medical reasons:

  • a letter from a medical practitioner stating that there is need for extra capacity to dispose of additional waste associated with a disability or medical treatment.
  • if you are a renter, evidence that shows you are a resident (eg. a utility bill or lease).

Contact us if you need a copy of the form posted or emailed to you.

Once your application is approved, we will organise your bins, if applicable, and update the waste services charge on the property rates. You will be asked to reapply for for a larger or additional red bin and additional yellow bin every two years.

For further information about the special waste application, you can email us at recyclingandwaste@gleneira.vic.gov.au or call 9524 3333.

Community pop-ups

We’re also holding a series of pop-ups to answer your waste questions around Glen Eira. Our friendly Council staff will be available to answer your questions and provide tips on reducing waste and disposing of food scraps.

Our pop-up dates are:

  • 11am–2pm, Sunday 20 June — Elsternwick Plaza
  • 11am–2pm, Saturday 17 July — Carnegie Library forecourt
  • 11am–2pm, Saturday 24 July — Centre Road, Bentleigh (opposite the rotundas)

If you want tips on waste sorting and minimising, follow us at @cityofgleneira on Instagram — we add new waste stories every week.

We’re here to support everyone in Glen Eira get on top of waste. We’re on it, together.

FAQ's

How do I order a green bin?

If your household does not have a green bin, you can order one by contacting us on recyclingandwaste@gleneira.vic.gov.au or 9524 3333.

How do I order a kitchen caddy?

If your household does not have a kitchen caddy and you would like one to help collect your food waste, contact us on recyclingandwaste@gleneira.vic.gov.au or 9524 3333.

What about my yellow recycling bin?

Yellow recycling bins will still be collected every two weeks — alternating with the red bin.

We know yellow bins sometimes end up full before collection day. You can make space in your recycling by crushing plastic bottles and flattening and pulling apart cardboard boxes.

 If you need extra space in your yellow bin, you can order an additional yellow bin at a much lower cost than a red bin.

How did you consult the community?

Community consultation began in a Have Your Say survey during November and December 2018, called ‘How’s your bin?’ and a Community Voice survey in February 2019. Results from both surveys informed the decision to trial the weekly green bin service in McKinnon and Ormond, which started in October 2019. Surveys of the trial area found 69.4 per cent of respondents preferred the weekly green bin, fortnightly red bin collection.

How did we get here?

In May 2018, food waste recycling was introduced to the fortnightly green bin collection service.

With food waste in the green bin and less waste in red bins, many community members have asked Council to move to a weekly green bin collection to reduce odours and better support food waste recycling.

In October 2019, we commenced a trial in McKinnon and Ormond to test whether a weekly green bin, fortnightly red bin service could support our community’s waste needs, reduce waste to landfill and increase food recycling.

The results of the weekly green bin trial were positive, with resident feedback and waste audits finding:

  • More food in green bins. The amount of food waste being placed in the green bin increased by 91 per cent.
  • Less waste going to landfill. The amount of waste sent to landfill decreased by 29 per cent.
  • Better recycling habits. The amount of recyclables in the red bin reduced by 45.7 per cent.
  • High community support. Surveys of the trial area found 69.4 per cent of respondents preferred the weekly green bin, fortnightly red bin collection.

Following the success of the trial, on 21 July 2020 Council resolved to rollout a weekly green bin, fortnightly red bin collection service across the municipality.

Council’s climate emergency

In May 2020, Council declared a climate emergency and joined the growing movement calling for urgent action to address climate change. Council also committed to new carbon emission reduction targets — zero net emissions for corporate emissions by 2025 and zero net community emissions by 2030.

When food waste breaks down in landfill it releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide. By supporting our community to put food waste in the green bin, we can lower waste-related emissions and help combat climate change.

Recycling Victoria

In February 2020 the State Government released Recycling Victoria, a circular economy policy and action plan which sets Victoria’s waste and resource recovery goals for the next ten years. The plan aims to help Victoria waste less and recycle more, with statewide targets to be met by 2030, including:

  • reducing per capita waste by 15 per cent, and
  • halving the amount of organic waste sent to landfill by 2030.

The weekly green bin trial showed that introducing a weekly green, fortnightly red bin collection is one way we can support our community to reduce waste and save food from landfill.

What if my household produces additional waste due to children in nappies, medical needs or large family size?

If your household is included in the following groups, you are eligible for a larger or additional red bin and additional yellow bin at no extra cost:

  • families with children in nappies
  • families with six or more members
  • families with four or more members, where at least one member is a concession card holder
  • households with additional waste for medical reasons.

You will be able to apply online in June through our website.

I live somewhere with shared bins, what do I do?

If you live in a residence with shared bins, please ask your owners corporation to contact us on recyclingandwaste@gleneira.vic.gov.au or 9524 3333.

What can I use to wrap my food waste?

Wrap food waste in paper towel or newspaper so it is easily composted. Paper bags can also be used as long as they are not waxy, coated in plastic or laminated (only made of paper).

Plastic bags, including biodegradable and compostable ones, should be kept out of your green bin. Bagged waste is not compatible with the rapid composting process used by our facility (6–10 days). Different bags break down at different rates and any bag with a knot tied in it will take up to a year to break down. Bags can also conceal hazardous objects such as syringes — this poses a safety risk to workers who hand sort green waste at the processing facility.

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