Boroondara and our contracted recycling collection agency Cleanaway have come to an agreement with VISY to receive and process 100 per cent of the City’s kerbside recycling collections. 

The arrangement commences Monday 5 August and means recyclable material will not be sent to landfill. The new arrangements will apply for the remainder of Council’s contract with Cleanaway until 2022.

Until the agreement was reached, Council wasn’t in a position to publicly disclose the work going on behind the scenes. To do so could have jeopardised negotiations and weeks of hard work would have gone to waste.

This arrangement will help Council avoid bearing additional landfill costs for sending recyclables to landfill.

While pleased to find this solution, Council maintains its position that the Victorian Government must be more proactive with its $500 million sustainability fund, collected as a waste levy from all Victorians. 

With many Councils still being forced to send recycling to landfill, Boroondara maintains that the Victorian government needs to outline their long term plan for Victoria’s recycling industry. A system which relies on shipping waste overseas, recyclable or not, is not sustainable.

Boroondara residents play a critical role in reducing the amount of waste produced in homes, offices and businesses. Council’s website has useful resources to help reduce the amount of overall household waste, and to avoid creating waste in the first place:

Residents also need to remain vigilant about avoiding contamination in recycling. Some tips for this include: 

  • scrape all food scraps and residue off recycling before putting it in the recycling bin
  • don’t put soft plastics (plastic bags, plastic food wrappers, etc) in the recycling bin
  • don’t put recycling into plastic bags - put loose items into the recycling bin for the processor to sort (items in plastic bags do not get sorted or recycled).

Recyclable items being thrown out in plastic bags is the number one cause of recycling bin contamination in Boroondara. Items placed in a plastic bag do not get sorted or recycled - only loose items can be placed in the recycling bin.

There will be a change to our recycling system. VISY will not be accepting soft/flexible plastics. Please do not put soft plastics or plastic bags into the recycling bin. 

If you’re uncertain if an item is a soft/flexible plastic, a good rule of thumb is this: if you can scrunch the plastic into a ball in your hand, it’s a flexible plastic and needs to go in general waste. If not, it’s hard plastic that can go into your recycling bin loose (e.g. plastic bottles). 

Soft plastics can be recycled by being dropped off at a REDcycle collection point at Coles or Woolworths supermarkets.

Contaminated recycling is a major worldwide issue. Processors charge contamination penalties, which in Council’s case can reach can up to $300,000 a year. These costs ultimately flow back to residents via the waste charge. Guidance about what goes in your recycling is available on the recycling bin page.

Council remains committed to proactively implementing initiatives for sustainable waste management, such as the introduction of a food organics and garden organics waste service (FOGO) scheduled to start in May 2020.

Boroondara continues to work alongside the Municipal Association of Victoria and the Victorian government on a long-term solution to this issue.