National

More bins for better Victorian recycling

By AAP Newswire

Victorians could sort their rubbish into six bin crates to fix the state's recycling woes.

That's one of the "best practice" solutions Infrastructure Victoria is flagging in a report released on Monday to improve the crippled co-mingled system.

One option involves separating materials into organics, plastics, paper and card, glass, metals and a regular waste bin, too, bringing the potential number of household bins to six.

"Victoria's current co-mingled system does not produce sufficiently clean streams to support end markets for recycled materials," the Infrastructure Victoria report reads.

Victorian households generally have three bins for green, mixed and household waste.

But Infrastructure Victoria's Elissa McNamara told AAP it was important to look at what is "reasonable" to roll-out.

A four bin system might be more likely and the crates could be stackable like systems used overseas, she said.

"More separation of waste at the household level is very helpful," she said.

"At a minimum, we need to separate our food waste and glass from other recyclables and then that going to landfill ... four different streams."

There's also scope for better education about what can be recycled, the benefits and the need to research end-uses or establish markets for recyclable materials.

Waste-to-energy infrastructure could have "significant potential" to divert residual waste from landfill, the report adds.

A deposit container scheme has also been signalled as another solution, despite the government repeatedly saying such would not be implemented in Victoria.

The report also floats the idea of better support for local councils to roll-out a more consistent approach to sorting and collecting waste.

Thy City of Darebin local council has already implemented a food scraps and green bin into their kerbside collection mix, while Hobsons Bay City Council will collect glass in a separate bin.

Victorians nearly doubled the total waste generated between 2000 and 2018 to 13.4 million tonnes a year, from 7.4 million tonnes, the interim report said.

Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio earlier this month announced $1.6 million for research into projects to reuse waste, while other institutions would give a further $3.4 million.

Opposition leader Michael O'Brien told ABC radio on Monday he liked the suggestions the latest report threw up, but "six bins sound a bit novel".

The state government has rejected the idea of a container deposit scheme.

Victoria's recycling industry was thrown into chaos when the largest processor SKM collapsed after plants were repeatedly shut down by regulators because of stockpiles and several facility fires.

Infrastructure Victoria will deliver its final report on recycling and resource recovery infrastructure in April 2020.