New world order to fight waste

Households could have up to five different weekly rubbish collections under changes being considered by Wyndham council.

The council has released a host of recommendations for the collection and treatment of waste following a three-week European tour of waste facilities and meetings with alternative waste treatment and disposal providers.

The council delegation also attended the Leading Trade Fair for Environmental Technologies in Munich to meet major European suppliers of waste management, treatment and disposal. The trip cost council $31,000.

City operations director Stephen Thorpe, who made the trip with mayor Peter Maynard and Werribee tip manager Simon Clay, said many European households separated rubbish differently, with separate collections for metal, combined food and green waste, co-mingled recycling, glass and residual waste.

“Our primary focus was on what people were doing with waste collected from households,” he said. “The best thing to do is to recover more of it – so people separating it at home, putting it into the right bins, and then you collect it in more collection systems.

“We do three bins, they do five. It’s a case or whether or not we increase the number of collections.”

Other recommendations include:

•Introducing waste baling – similar to hay baling – as a short-term measure to reduce the amount of free-flowing litter and birds at the Werribee tip.

•Forming a public-private partnership to develop the Werribee tip into a waste to energy plant.

Cr Maynard said Australia was about 20 years behind other countries such as the UK in alternative waste treatment.

“As a direct result of this recent tour, council has committed to support the development of a collaborative partnership, which could include other councils, the private sector and the federal or Victorian government, to enable investment in alternative waste treatment at the Wyndham Refuse Disposal Facility,” he said.