The ABC’s ‘War on Waste’ has got Murrindindi Shire Council talking about what it can do to continue reducing waste being sent to landfill in the Shire.
Portfolio Councillor for Natural Environment and Climate Change, Cr Rebecca Bowles, said in the development of the draft Council Plan many suggestions were made by the community regarding waste management. The draft Council Plan recognises there is more Council can be doing to reduce the generation of waste and to increase the amount of waste that is recycled.
“For example, we want to build on the Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) re-use program which has proved popular in the community. This program allows Shire residents to take, re-purpose and re-use materials from RRCs across the Shire free of charge.
“We are working closely with our neighbouring Councils to increase the range of materials that can be economically recycled at our RRCs, such as hard and soft plastics and polystyrene, as well as working together to reduce the current operational costs,” said Cr Bowles.
“In the meantime, it is useful to remind people about what recycling is already available at the RRCs. People can recycle garden waste, tyres, couches, mattresses, metals and items substantially comprised of metal such as white goods, electronic waste (anything electrical that isn’t white goods, including mobile phones), used motor oil, light bulbs including fluorescent tubes, lead acid batteries and DrumMuster containers.
“People can also recycle ‘commingled’ items at our RRCs. These are the same items you would put all together in your recycling bin, like paper, cardboard, cans, tins and recyclable household plastics numbered between 1 and 7.
“While most recyclable material is sent out of the Shire for processing back into other products, the main exception is green waste, which is mulched on-site by contractors and made available to be taken by ratepayers and local businesses.
“However, the bulk of the green waste is taken by a local company and turned back into quality (clean, weed-free, composted) products that are then sold, including back to Council, where it has been used for garden beds in our parks.”
Cr Bowles said there are also some everyday items that are not generally recycled, but should be, including aerosol cans and pizza boxes.
“On the other hand, people often mistakenly put polystyrene, filled plastic bottles and heavy metal items into recycling when they can’t actually be recycled,” she added.
“It is worth noting there are also some items we don’t accept at our RRCs as we either can’t manage the product onsite or there isn’t a cost effective recycling solution at the moment. For example, most construction materials such as bricks, concrete, plaster and timber go straight to landfill. ” added Cr Bowles.
“While Council can’t accept paint or household chemicals at its RRCs, disposal is possible at locations outside the Shire through Sustainability Victoria’s “Detox Your Home” program”. Currently, properly wrapped asbestos from households can be taken to the Alexandra Landfill (although due to licence conditions businesses must arrange for disposal outside the Shire).”
Cr Bowles said while Council works to improve options available at RRCs, we all need to be thinking about the impact of our waste on the environment and doing that bit of extra work to separate recyclables items out of the landfill stream.
“Of course, it is always best to not create waste in the first place, which means we should all be thinking a bit more about the resources we consume before we even make a purchase.
“The ABC’s ‘War on Waste’ has certainly highlighted the little-known fact that while lids can be recycled, coffee cups aren’t generally recyclable and they go to landfill. One good way to stop this happening is to use a travelling ‘keep cup’ for coffee”, said Cr Bowles.
“And if you have to throw something out, first think about whether it can be recycled in whole or in part before adding to the landfill. We can all do our little bit to win the war on waste” said Cr Bowles.
For more information about waste disposal or RRCs please visit Council’s website at www.murrindindi.vic.gov.au or call Council on 5772 0333.
For more information specifically about:
Murrindindi Shire Council’s advice on minimising your footprint:
Detox Your Home (Sustainability Victoria):
Murrindindi Shire Resource Recovery Centre fees