What kerbside collection services do we have currently in Mitchell Shire?

    Our current standard kerbside collection service includes a weekly garbage service (red lid) in a 120L bin, and a fortnightly commingled (mixed) recycling service (yellow lid) in a 240L bin. 

    The recycling service collects mixed recyclables, which include glass, aluminium and steel cans, plastic bottles and containers, paper and cardboard. Our recycling is transported in the recycling collection truck to the Visy Recycling facility in Heidelberg, where it is separated into component commodities before being sold or used directly by Visy to make more packaging. 

    Our garbage waste is disposed of at the Mitchell Landfill, which is owned by Council and operated under an EPA licence. 

    We provide kerbside collection services in all major townships and along connector roads within the Shire.

    If your property is not eligible for kerbside collection services we provide a number of kerbside collection points throughout the Shire for you to use or you can drop off your garbage and recycling at Council’s Resource Recovery Centres in Seymour, Broadford, Pyalong or Wallan. 

    Ratepayers who have a kerbside service will see a waste service charge on their annual Rates Notice. This charge covers the costs associated with the kerbside collection service, including waste disposal and processing of recycling. It also helps fund other waste services such as landfill operations, public litter bins and waste education programs and allows us to subsidise prices and provide rate payers with vouchers for Council's Resource Recovery Centres. The waste service charge is applied to all residential properties with a habitable dwelling, located within a compulsory collection zone. 

    For the 2021/22 financial year, the waste service charge is $473. Properties that do not receive a kerbside collection service don't pay this charge. 

    Why are we changing our kerbside collection services to a four-stream system?

    In 2020, the Victorian Government released its 10-year circular economy policy, Recycling Victoria: A new economy

    The Policy steps out the systemic change that’s needed to:

    • increase the quality and volume of recycling and reuse of resources 

    • reduce waste, landfill and litter 

    • reduce emissions and contribute to Victoria’s net-zero emissions by 2050 

    • create new jobs 

    • build a sustainable and thriving circular economy for a cleaner, greener Victoria 

    The Policy requires household waste and recycling services be standardised across the state. All households will have access to four waste and recycling streams, including: 

    • glass 

    • food organics and garden organics (FOGO) 

    • mixed recyclables 

    • household rubbish 

    Councils across Victoria need to implement these changes. 

    The new four-stream system will improve how we manage waste and recycling in our Shire. It will see glass, FOGO, mixed recyclables, and household rubbish separated at home. 

    FOGO makes up over 60% of waste in residential kerbside garbage bins in Mitchell Shire. By introducing a FOGO service, we can divert a significant amount of material from landfill and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by composting this material.  

    Glass, when crushed into paper in the recycling collection truck, contaminates recyclable paper material, making it unusable. By introducing a separate glass recycling service, we can increase the quantity and quality of recycled material, allowing us to get the most value from our resources. 

    What is the new four-stream system, and do I get to have a say in how these new services are delivered?

    The kerbside service will be standardised throughout the state. This means that bin lid colours will be the same everywhere, and that the same material can be recycled in each bin type, no matter where you live in Victoria. 

    However, for many rural and regional areas, the four-bin system might not make the most sense. We  will consider how these new services are delivered, based on different community needs. 

    The changes to the recycling system mean that glass will no longer be able to be collected in a mixed recycling bin like it currently is. It will have to be collected separately, either via a kerbside service or at a drop-off facility. 

    The introduction of a separate FOGO bin means people will be able to dispose of household volumes of food and garden waste via the kerbside service. Material collected through a FOGO service will be processed at an industrial composting facility, which can compost the full range of solid food waste, including meat, onions, and citrus. 

    To facilitate the collection of FOGO, many Councils also provide ‘kitchen caddies’ and compostable bags to households. 

    Council will soon be asking you how you would like to see your waste and recycling services delivered. There are several different options available to us and you’ll get to have your say on variables such as: 

    • bin size for each waste and recycling stream  

    • collection frequency for each stream (e.g. weekly, fortnightly or monthly) 

    • whether the kerbside services are mandatory

    • mandatory combinations of bins (e.g. recycling and glass) 

    Council has not decided how these services will be delivered and will consider feedback from the community to understand how we can support a logical and cost-effective transition to a four-stream system. 

    When will these new services be introduced in Mitchell Shire?

    Council’s existing waste and recycling contracts finish in 2025, which means the new services will be introduced in the same year. 

    Mitchell Shire Council, together with councils across North-East Victoria, is participating in a joint tender for waste and recycling collection and processing services, so Council can deliver these new services. 

    By acting now, we are allowing adequate time for service providers to invest in new equipment and facilities to meet the demand of councils across Victoria. By pooling our resources with other regional councils through a joint tender process, we can make the opportunity more attractive for potential providers to invest in our region. 

    Will separating waste and recycling into four streams support better environmental outcomes?

    Absolutely. Recycling materials means we don’t rely on raw materials as much to produce goods. 

    Waste to landfill accounts for much of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by Council’s activities since methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Diverting waste from landfill, particularly organic waste, will lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 

    Will the new four-stream system mean an increase in my rates?

    The introduction of the new four-bin system will come at a cost, and at least some of that cost will need to be recovered from users of these new services. 

    With different options available to us for the ways we can deliver waste and recycling services, each option will come with different costs. While we don’t yet know the exact costs, they will depend on several factors, including community feedback and preferences for the delivery of the new services, the cost of collection, the availability and cost of processing services, and additional funding support from the Victorian Government. 

    Council will soon be asking you how you would like to see your waste and recycling services delivered. To support you to provide well-informed feedback, we’ll provide guidance on potential cost implications of the services and include the benefits and disadvantages of each of the options available to us. 

    Once we receive and review tender submissions, we can start to put together different pricing models. Some options will be cheaper, and some will be more expensive – some will have better environmental outcomes compared to others, and some will involve less change than others. 

    Is hard waste collection part of Council’s Circular Economy Reform?

    Hard waste collection and management is not a part of the Circular Economy Reform, which is focused solely on the collection of waste and recycling via the kerbside bin system. 

    Council operates four Resources Recovery Centres across the Shire to assist ratepayers to manage their hard waste. Council also provides resource recovery centre vouchers each year with your rates notice. 

    Your rates notice contains a barcode that can be scanned up to 5 times at any of our Resource Recovery Centres.

    We acknowledge that this service is not suitable to everyone, especially those without cars. Council is currently investigating options to assist all residents to manage their hard waste. There are also private contractors who can provide a hard waste collection service.

    What is the Container Deposit Scheme?

    The Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria Policy also mandates the introduction of a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS - aka drink bottle refund) by 2023. 

    This CDS is still being designed, and we do not know when it will be introduced. At this stage, it is proposed that the CDS will look very similar to the New South Wales scheme, with the use of reverse vending machines where you will be able to take empty drink cans and bottles for a 10c refund. 

    More information on the CDS can be found here. 

    The CDS targets some of the same materials as the kerbside recycling collection service and will impact the cost of these new services.

    I already compost or manage food waste at home – will I be required to have a FOGO bin?

    That’s great to hear! And keep up the good work. As you may already know, the FOGO service will provide you with a convenient and environmentally-friendly way to compost items that you wouldn’t typically put through a home compost or a worm farm. 

    For example: noxious weeds including gorse and blackberry, rose prunings, meat and seafood – cooked or raw – dairy products, spoiled food, rice and pasta, pet droppings. 

    Council has not decided how these services will be delivered and will seek feedback from the community to understand how we can support a logical and cost-effective transition to a four-stream system. 

    Why are some councils getting the new system before Mitchell Shire?

    The change of contract provides the best opportunity for Council to roll out new services and minimise the cost impacts. 

    Council’s existing waste and recycling contracts finishes in 2025, the new services will be introduced in the same year. 

    Mitchell Shire Council, together with councils across North-East Victoria, is participating in a joint tender for waste and recycling collection and processing services, so Council can implement these new services. 

    By acting now, we are allowing adequate time for service providers to invest in new equipment and facilities to meet the demand of councils across Victoria. By pooling our resources with other regional councils through a joint tender process, we can make the opportunity more attractive for potential providers to invest in our region.

    Are commercial and business collections part of Council’s Circular Economy Reform?

    Commercial and business collections are not explicitly part of the Circular Economy Reform 

    The current and future kerbside bin system will be designed for residential use. However some smaller businesses, schools and commercial operations utilise Council’s current kerbside bin system and may continue to do so in the future.  

    Council has not decided how these services will be delivered and will seek feedback from the community to understand how we can support a logical and cost-effective transition to a four-stream system.

    How will Mitchell’s growth impact our waste services?

    Mitchell Shire is Victoria’s fastest growing outer metropolitan municipalities. The population of 49,000 is expected to reach 270,000 in the next 25-30 yearsWe are currently seeing this population growth equate to about a 6-7% increase in services each year and we expect this to grow.   

    This growth will be accounted for in our planning and implementation of the four-bin system.