Our Waste Future

State of Rubbish in Victoria

By 2051, metropolitan Melbourne is projected to grow from 4.4 million people to 7.8 million people. Our waste destined for landfill will too grow from 4.2 million tonnes in 2015/16 to 5.2 million tonnes in 2051/52.

If no new waste and resource recovery solutions are introduced, we will need an extra 2 new large landfills. With a lack of suitable locations for new landfills and potential long term environmental impacts from poor management of landfills, alternative solutions need to be sourced.

Advanced Waste and Resource Recovery Technologies

Advanced Waste and Resource Recovery Technologies (AWRRT) can reduce the need for more landfills, and has a high capability to recover resources from municipal, construction and commercial residual waste.

In September 2017, Shire officers visited facilities in China that can process 280,000 to 1.4million tonnes of waste per year, diverting up to 97% of waste from landfill and generating enough power for 120,000 Australian homes.  Shire officers presented the outcomes of the China study tour at the War on Waste Forum.

Pathway to Advanced Waste and Resource Recovery Technologies

The Metropolitan Waste Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) is a Victorian State Government Statutory Body responsible for coordinating and facilitating the delivery of waste management and resource recovery across metropolitan Melbourne. 

The MWRRG has been working with Councils to investigate alternatives to landfills. A group made up of South-east Melbourne Councils has been proposed for the procurement of a regional facility.     

The Council will consult with the community through each of the following steps.  

Steps to Advance Waste and Resource Technologies


What is China’s ‘National Sword Policy’?

China is the world’s largest importer of recyclable materials.

Last year, in efforts to improve environmental and health conditions, China announced that from early this year, they would no longer accept unsorted, dirty or contaminated plastic, mixed paper and cardboard. The new policy imposes much tighter contamination thresholds on these recyclable streams.

How will it impact the Shire?

At present, it is business as usual.  

This issue is not unique to Victoria.  All Australian jurisdictions, and many other countries have a heavy reliance on the China export market.

We’re working with the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) and our contractors to fully understand the impact of this new policy. Our contractors have been developing high quality sorting facilities which will comply with China’s new import standards.

Do I keep recycling?

YES, we still need to recycle. Recycling reduces the amount of natural resources and energy required to make new products. Now, it is more important than ever to Recycle Right. View the Shire’s recycling web page to find out what can be placed in your recycling bins.

To ensure we maximise our recycling:

  • No Plastic Bags - Place only loose items in your recycling bin Rinse/empty out all containers and bottles
  • Only place recyclables in your recycling bin
  •  (can we place this first)
  • FREE disposal of excess recycling is available at our Resource Recovery Centres (Rye, Mornington and Tyabb) or hoppers (Sorrento, Dromana and Flinders).  

What’s next?

The Shire is committed to best waste management practices- reducing the amount of waste generated, increase recovery of recyclable materials, and reduction in contamination. China’s restrictions provide an opportunity for Victorians to review our waste practices and look for opportunities to transition to a cleaner economy.

Advanced Waste Resource Recovery Technologies may provide a solution to low value and/or non-recyclable materials. The Shire is working with the MWRRG to drive best practice in waste management.        



Our inaugural War on Waste Forum & Expo was held on Sunday 29 October 2017 in Dromana.

The event gave insights on how we can deal with waste in the future through a series of presentations, demonstrations and stalls showcasing local initiatives in waste reduction, plastics avoidance and litter prevention.

The Shire encourages our community join the war on waste by implementing waste reduction strategies in their own home and at work, as well as learning about the future in waste management. Learn more about recycling and the Shire's waste education programs


  • Advocating for a ban on single use plastic bags
  • Silage wrap recycling for Mornington Peninsula farmers.
  • A restructure of waste processing activities with the awarding of new waste contracts to provide a cost effective and efficient waste management service to the community.  These contracts will meet Council’s efforts to increase the volume of waste diverted from landfill.
  • A letter from the Mayor, Cr Bryan Payne to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to advocate for an alternate waste technology facility in the South East Metropolitan Area.
  • Weekly summer kerbside recycling bin collection service.
  • Encouraging residents to take advantage of the Detox your Home program available through our Resource Recovery Centres.
  • The Shire has a Waste Education Program to help residents avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle their waste.
  • Encouraging a more sustainable future through our Eco Living Display Centre


What the community is doing:

  • Avoiding packaging that can’t be recycled
  • Collecting soft plastics (plastic bags, plastic wrap, etc.) and placing them in the red bins available in their local supermarkets
  • Buying second hand instead of new
  • Using composting and worm farms to reduce organic waste.
  • Making a conscious effort to reduce waste

 Some of your questions:

  • Why are there so few bins along the beach?
  • Why don’t we prevent the waste in the first place?
  • Can we recycle milk carton lids?

 What more can we do as a community?

  • Reduce rubbish entering waterways
  • Support and promote local Op shops
  • More signs to let visitors know not to leave their rubbish behind / dispose of it responsibly
  • Better public rubbish bins