Yarra’s waste revolution

Article image - Yarra’s waste revolution Yarra residents are staging their own waste revolution.

A revolution has come to the City of Yarra, Victoria, with 1300 households in the area trying a Victorian-first new waste and recycling collection.

Already, in the first weeks of the trial, residents in the inner city suburb have:

  • prevented almost ten tonnes of food and green waste from ending up in landfill
  • ensured nearly five tonnes of paper, plastic and metals are being recycled in Australia rather than ending up on a boat overseas or in landfill and
  • separated over four tonnes of glass to be used to make new bottles or road base locally.

Council is calling these changes to how residents are being asked to sort their waste, and the ways the waste is being collected, the Yarra Waste Revolution.

Following this trial Yarra Council will consider expanding the service throughout the municipality in 2020.

Director City Works and Assets, Chris Leivers, said the changes have multiple benefits – creating new jobs and supporting Australia’s recycling industry as Yarra works to build a local circular economy, and at the same time tackling the thorny issues of climate change and landfill usage.

“We’re only collecting specific items we know are valuable to the Australian recycling industry, ensuring that they’ll find a new life as a new product and not end up in landfill or overseas.

“By collecting glass separately, it won’t break and contaminate general recycling. Any glass which can’t be recycled back into bottles will be used in new road resurfacing works in Yarra.

“And by collecting food waste separately, it will be processed to reduce emissions and turned it into nutritious compost that will be used on Victorian farms and council gardens.”

These changes build on the successful food and garden waste collection trial Yarra ran last year in parts of Abbotsford. Results of that trial were very positive, with residents reducing their waste going to landfill by nearly half.

“We want to help fix the recycling industry, create local jobs and use waste as a resource, instead of sending it to landfill – and the Yarra Waste Revolution is vital to this plan.”