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Applications open for recycling funding in Victoria

Announced earlier this year, a range of major funding initiatives in Victoria are now open for applications. Launched by Victoria’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings, the three funds will provide incentives to councils and businesses to reduce waste generation and improve resource recovery while stimulating the development of new technologies and green jobs.

Jennings also released the latest Victorian Local Government Annual Survey (2008-2009) which showed a state-wide improvement in kerbside resource recovery from 42% in 2007-08 to 43% in 2008-09.

The $33.5 million in funding will help local government and industry to build on the “great work already being done across the state” said Jennings.

“The programs will help metropolitan and regional waste management groups and councils work together to identify opportunities to bolster their recycling efforts and reduce their disposal costs,” he said.

The $14 million Driving Investment for New Recycling Fund will assist councils, waste management groups and recyclers provide new infrastructure and increase capacity and capability.

Sustainability Victoria will be conducting a series of information sessions on this Fund, across Victoria until October 29, and interested parties are encouraged to attend.

The $14 million Beyond Waste Fund is designed to help businesses innovate to avoid generating waste, and reduce what is sent to landfill, to be administered by the Environment Protection Authority.

The $5.5 million Metropolitan Local Governments Waste and Resource Recovery Fund, administered by Metropolitan Waste Management Group, is open to councils in the Melbourne metropolitan area to support projects that improve resource recovery and kerbside collection systems for households.

Jennings said the latest Victorian Local Government Annual Survey (2008-2009) showed Victorians were aware of the value of recycling but that there was still room for improvement.

“The results show Victorians are committed to home recycling with green waste and household recyclables helping to achieve the state’s best results yet in this area,” Jennings said.

The Minister said the performance of councils varied for a number of reasons including the size of the bins used, the frequency of collection and the availability of organics recycling.

“Another key factor is the amount of multi unit developments – such as in the City of Melbourne – which can make recycling challenging due to lack of space and infrastructure. Supporting councils to address this issue will be a high priority for the Metropolitan Local Governments Waste and Resource Recovery Fund and the Driving Investment for New Recycling Fund,” he said.

“New guidelines are also being developed to assist councils, developers, architects and building managers achieve waste and recycling best practice for multi unit dwellings.”

According to the report, kerbside collection services for garbage, recyclables and green organics generated 1.9 million tonnes of waste in Victoria, an increase of 37,195 tonnes or 2.0% from the previous financial year.

More than half of the increase is directly attributed to the gains achieved through the increased recovery of green organics with an additional 20,124 tonnes collected.

Although the amount of garbage collected increased by 17,456 tonnes in 2008–09, more properties were serviced in Victoria (2.6%) and the total yield generated by each household decreased by 4 kg annually.

The state-wide average diversion rate for recyclables and green organics increased from 42% in 2007–08 to 43% in 2008–09. The diversion rate has increased every year since 2000–01 and has improved by 17 percentage points.

All 79 Victorian local governments are listed in the report and ranked by their waste diversion rates. There were 22 local governments which achieved greater diversion rates than the state-wide average of 43%, with the top three being Monash City Council (57%); Manningham City Council (57%); and Greater Geelong City Council (56%).

Source: Inside Waste Weekly

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