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Published Thursday 27 February 2020
Tags:General, Media Release

Statement on waste industry changes

Quotes attributable to Mitchell Shire Council Acting CEO Mary Agostino

There has been a lot of community interest around the future of the waste industry over the past week, particularly after the Victorian Government announced changes to kerbside waste collections and a container deposit scheme.

"How the Victorian Government’s announcement will impact Mitchell Shire still needs to be further explored as there is little detail available to us right now. Should the four-bin system be compulsory, Council is keen to know how it will be supported in implementing such a program."
Mitchell Shire Council Acting CEO Mary Agostino

It is essential that the Victorian Government provide Councils with funding and implementation support to keep costs low for our households and to ensure the program is rolled out successfully.

As part of the announcement, the State Government indicated a container deposit scheme could be introduced. The scheme would reimburse residents who return their plastic and glass containers to specialised drop off points. We are interested in how this scheme will be rolled out and what role Councils will play.

The State Government will also increase the cost to Councils for waste taken to landfill over the next three years. Right now, we are paying about $33.03 per tonne of municipal waste sent to landfill in Mitchell Shire. The proposed changes will see this fee double.

We will be seeking clarification in terms of roles and responsibilities regarding these significant waste management changes and will be advocating strongly on the impacts this will have on the ability of our residents to pay for such increases which have been imposed by the State Government and left for Local Government to implement.

Traditionally, waste services attract a charge which is based on the service delivery costs. Increasing kerbside delivery may lead to cost increases to residents, however, we will continue to advocate to the State Government to provide further detail on proposed changes.

While there have been some consultation sessions held across Local Government there is mixed support on the kerbside reform. Council remains cautious of any initiatives that increase the cost of service delivery to residents.

We understand our community is supportive of taking steps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and we will work through how we can do this together.

We are investigating opportunities to introduce a green waste bin for food organics and green organics. This investigation will take into account the cost of the service. We are yet to identify when a service could be introduced.

Residents in Mitchell Shire currently have access to two kerbside bins for garbage and recycling.

Quotes attributable to Mayor Councillor David Lowe

The State Government has proposed significant changes to waste management for all Victorians. Programs that avoid waste from going to landfill must be explored. As a Council, and as a community, we are conscious of our environmental footprint.

One of the major concerns is the cost of the State Government’s new proposal and this will need to be recognised from day one. We will continue to seek direction from the State Government in terms of how Council manages these changes and timeline.

Our community is supportive of programs which care for our environment. However, put simply, we need more details.

Waste service delivery is charged through an annual waste charge separate to our rates. Any changes may come at a price to us, the community. We need the Victorian Government to provide us with funding and implementation support.

We are also keen to see how we will play a role in any potential container deposit scheme that has also been announced. We wait in anticipation of more details from the State Government.

This page was last updated on 21 May 2020.