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Rethinking waste as a resource

This year’s National Recycling Week (9 to 15 November 2020) theme is ‘Recovery – a future beyond the bin’.

Once an item is produced it exists for many years, so it’s important for us to think about the items we buy and throw away.

This National Recycling Week, we encourage you to think more about where ‘away’ is and what the best future for those items may be.

To reduce our environmental impact, avoiding unnecessary waste is the best action we can take – followed by reducing, reusing, and recycling (including FOGO and home composting). Ashburton family of four, the Baker-Barry family (pictured above) shared some ways they try to reduce or avoid waste. “We try our best to do zero-waste shopping. We buy refillable options like soap and laundry powder, take reusable items to charity shops, take all our flexible/soft plastics to the REDcycle program at supermarkets, use the Boroondara Recycling Centre for items like e-waste and polystyrene and happily buy second-hand and refurbished items – we even bought second-hand wedding rings!”

From your recycling bin, items are reprocessed into new products. Sorting your waste correctly is critical for keeping valuable materials out of landfill, recovering materials to support creating a more circular economy, and protecting natural resources.

If a plastic bottle is incorrectly placed in the waste bin, it will end up in landfill where it will remain for hundreds, and possibly thousands, of years. However, if the plastic bottle is recycled correctly, it can have a future beyond the bin as a valuable resource and exist with a new purpose.

It is equally as important to help ‘close the loop’ by actively buying products made from recycled materials. This could include purchasing paper towel or toilet paper made from recycled office paper, pet litter made from recycled paper and cardboard, or furniture or fencing made from recycled plastics.

A family sit with their two chickens and puppy

Planet Ark has set up a great online directory to help you find and buy recycled products.

For more information on recycling right and sorting your waste correctly, see our A to Z recycling and waste guide.

FOGO for units and apartments

Do you live in a unit or apartment complex and receive Council kerbside waste collection services?

If so, you are part of the phase two rollout of our new Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) service.

To help get you started, we’re asking for eligible residents who live in units and apartments to complete an online survey so we can gather the details we need to set you up for FOGO collections.

For more information and to complete the survey, visit our FOGO survey page


Prepare for fire season

Reduce the risk of a fire starting at your property this summer.

Clear anything that could fuel a fire by:

  • mowing your lawns regularly
  • storing building materials and firewood neatly away from
  • your house and fence lines
  • removing dead dry foliage, leaves and undergrowth from outdoor areas.

Being fire ready is a shared responsibility between government, emergency services and the community.

For more tips or to report a hazard, visit our Fire prevention page