On Monday, the Victorian State Government announced two new initiatives to cut down waste going into landfill by 80 per cent by 2030.
Households across Victoria will be getting a fourth bin for kerbside recycling next year, and a container deposit scheme – also known as cash-for-cans or cash-for-bottles – set to be rolled out by 2023.
“This is all about a really big shake-up of the way our waste and recycling industry and sector works, right down to the household level,” Premier Daniel Andrews said at a press conference.
The fourth bin will have a purple lid and is meant for glass products, including jars and bottles. Glass will be recycled into new products as well as material that can be used to create roads and footpaths.
The purple-lidded bins join the three existing household waste bins: yellow for recycling (which will only be used for plastic, metal and paper); green for food and garden organics; and red for landfill. (But should that green bin ever be subbed out for a blue one, we’d be in Wiggles territory.)
“Four bins for every household means much better sorting of our household waste,” Premier Andrews said. “That means we can put that waste to more and better end uses – creating jobs, reducing landfill [and] doing the right thing by the environment.”
Yarra City Council, which covers suburbs including Fairfield, Clifton Hill, Fitzroy, Carlton North, Abbotsford and Richmond, is already implementing a four-bin system, planned for roll-out in July. And Hobsons Bay Council, which covers Williamstown, Newport, Altona and others, introduced the system earlier this month.
The State Government has also announced plans to deliver a container deposit scheme for Victoria – the last state in the country to do so. While no timeline or details have been released, in New South Wales the Return and Earn initiative gives consumers a 10-cent refund for every eligible beverage container deposited. The government will consult with industry and local councils before next steps are taken.
The two changes are part of a major overhaul of the state’s recycling industry following China’s decision to restrict the import of low-grade recyclables in 2017. Prior to this, much of Victoria’s (and Australia’s) recyclable waste was sent to China.