Metropolitan Waste Management Group

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Combined Education Network Event February 2015

Download the presentations and resources from the Combined Education Network Event on February 2015:

How do we share knowledge?
Knowledge Sharing (PDF) Martin Pritchard and Damien Sweeney, Pacific Research & Evaluation Associates
Summary of Workshop (PDF)


University of Melbourne Tours
For more information regarding the tour of the University’s new Architecture building and/or its Closed the Loop composting system please email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Waste and Recycling Coordinator, The University of Melbourne or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Organics Operations Manager, Closed Loop.

Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group updates
Sustainability Activity Kit update:
For more information about Sustainability Activity Kit please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Back to Earth update:
School resources are being developed to support organic recycling. Further information will be provided shortly.   

For further information regarding litter education resources please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .    


Sustainability Victoria updates (links to relevant websites)
Victorian Statewide Waste Education Strategy  - Natasha Gayfer, Project Advisor,  Comms, Marketing & Waste Education , Sustainability Victoria
Love food hate waste  - Natasha Gayfer, Project Advisor,  Comms, Marketing & Waste Education , Sustainability Victoria
ResourceSmart School Awards - Claire Ruedin, Project Advisor, Litter & Education, Sustainability Victoria
Keep Australia Beautiful – Sustainably City Awards - Glenda James, Project Advisor – Awards, Litter & Education,

Free to good homes

We're having an office clear out and as a result have some items to give away free to good homes:

vasilis garden2    Vasili’s Garden – Green Organics Recycling & Composting DVDs
    21 DVDs available





CD   Litter Education in Secondary Schools Toolkit CDs
   Suitable for local government, approx. 200 CDs available



bags   'Too lovely to litter’ rubbish bags
   Designed for use in cars, approx. 2000 bags available






If you can make use of any of these items, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request the items. Please advise how many you’d like of each item and your delivery address.

Healthy Sustainable Gardens (HSG)

Healthy Sustainable Gardens (HSG) is a market development strategy aimed at:

  • Raising awareness and knowledge about green organics recycling
  • Promoting the buy back of recycled mulch and compost
  • Supporting the recycled organics industry and councils to close the loop on green organics recycling

Healthy Sustainable Gardens is about raising community awareness and understanding of household green organics. In particular, how green organics collected from households is made into certified recycled products that can be used back on the garden or on the land for growing crops and vegetables.   Products promoted under the HSG brand meet the Australian Standards for Composting (AS4454). The Back to Earth initiative raises awareness of this journey from kerbside back to earth.

Since 2005, a range of activities have been undertaken to promote awareness and enable residents across metropolitan Melbourne to easily access and purchase bulk quantities of recycled organic compost or mulch product. Currently recycled compost products are stocked by majority of Melbourne’s retail garden supply outlets.

MWRRG also promotes the use of recycled compost products at large events including the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Sustainable Living Festival, Going Green Expo and through our HSG ambassador, gardening guru and TV host Vasili at various council festivals.

Why promote recycled green organics

A 2005-06 Local Government Survey conducted by Sustainability Victoria revealed that approximately 210,000 tonnes of garden organics waste was collected at kerbside for recycling from metropolitan Melbourne municipalities. However while garden organics processing was well established, end-user markets were still immature.

The ability to establish and sustain markets for processed material affects the long term viability of the industry and the potential for local government to expand kerbside organic collections systems to divert organics from landfill and achieve further methane gas abatement.

Following the success of the Healthy Sustainable Gardens program in stimulating sales of recycled mulch and compost to the residential market in council areas, the program was expanded to facilitate wider metropolitan engagement.

Some of the barriers to the growth of this industry and the development of community and other end-use markets for recycled organics include:

  • Availability of uncertified, un-pasteurised and un-composted products damaging market reputation of certified recycled organics products
  • Difficulties in siting and operating recycled organics processing facilities to avoid odour to neighbouring properties
  • Unrealistically, and unviable, low gate prices for processing organics.

On the other hand opportunities to assist growing the industry include:

  • Councils adopting the policy of ‘buy back’ for their recycled green organics
  • Improving source separation to reduce contamination in feedstock arriving to improve the consistency of clean product being produced
  • Improving the understanding of market needs by many processors


Achievements so far

The Healthy Sustainable Gardens has contributed greatly to establishing a market for recycled organics in the urban household gardening sector by extending market reach and market share across Melbourne as well as enabling valuable resources, tools and links to be developed. 

Over 40 garden supply outlets across Melbourne are now stocking the mulch and compost products on an ongoing basis. The retailers have acquired an improved understanding of the material, its product characteristics and the processes involved in producing the compost and mulch.

Processors have become more responsive to the needs of the community in respect to what constitutes product appeal and quality. Several processors now produce products that comply with Australian Standards (AS-4454) and the Leaf Mark brand (application specific products).

Many councils across Melbourne now conduct yearly promotional and educational activities to educate the community about the process, the need to recycle correctly to reduce contamination and the importance of buying back the products


Plans for the future

The emphasis has now shifted to maintaining HSG messages, to following new directions such as promoting the use of recycled organics on council parks, ovals and waterways. Other future initiatives being considered by MWRRG in consultation with stakeholders include:

  • Working with councils to improve source separation to increase the quality of the mulch product being processed and ultimately produced
  • Working with processors to look at strategies for producing a cleaner end-product, in particular the mulch; looking at ways to improve the quality of the feedstock arriving, the removal of contaminants and consistency of clean product being supplied to retailers
  • Undertaking research to ascertain contaminant levels occurring in council feedstock arriving at composting facilities and/or surveys to discover what collection and educational approaches lead to reduced contamination levels

For more information about recycled organics, visit Healthy Parks Ovals and Waterways (HPOW).

Combined Education Network Day May 2013

Download the presentations from the Combined Education Network Day on 8 May 2013

The Story of Recycling at Ascot Vale Housing Estate (pdf 5MB)

City of Darebin CALD Storyboards (pdf 2.23MB)

Frankston City - Keepin' It Clean (pdf 1.94MB)

City of Stonnington Green Schools' Network 2013 Program (pdf1.32MB)

The Pro Action Café version 1.2 (pdf 106KB)

Recycling/Waste stickers from the Commonwealth Games

General waste

general waste 2

Dimensions 56.5cm long x 20cm high (the logo section is 13cm)

Food only


Dimensions approx 56cm long x 20cm wide

Clean paper and cardboard

clean paper cardboard

Dimensions approx 56cm long x 20cm wide

General Waste


Dimensions 28.5cm wide x 43cm high (the logo section is 8cm)

Paper and Plastic (No Food)

paper plastic

Dimensions 28.5cm wide x 43cm high (the logo section is 8cm)

Combined Education Network Day June 2012

Download the minutes and presentations from the Combined Education Network Day on 21 June 2012.


Ed Net session

Click here for the PDF of Buy Nothing New Month's extensive media coverage.

City of Monash "Don't Trash Monash" presentation (460kb)

Green Steps at Work Melbourne (103kb)

Green Steps internship information (287kb)

Green steps MWMG educators (916kb)


SEN Session

Minutes (28kb)

Survey results (29kb)

Frankston City Council Teachers Environmental Network presentation (626kb)

Frankston City Council Teachers Environmental Network Flyer (462kb)

RS Aussi Vic Initiative Council support template (60kb)


Healthy Parks Ovals and Waterways (HPOW)

The Healthy Parks Ovals and Waterways (HPOW) project was developed by MWRRG with support from Sustainability Victoria and the Centre for Organic and Resources Enterprises (CORE) to pilot and showcase the use of certified recycled organic products in the local government sector.

Applications of recycled organics that were promoted as part of the program included remediation, mulching and top dressing for parks, gardens and sporting ovals as well as for use in erosion control and stormwater improvement.

The pilot program has involved councils testing a range of recycled organics products. Participating councils received technical, monitoring and advisory support from CORE. This included pre-site inspections and discussions with council personnel and the suppliers to ensure that products appropriate to the site specifications, soil conditions and installation requirements would be met.

As part of the trials, a testing and monitoring regime was developed by CORE in association with Turf Grass Consultants (Australia). This involved comparative soil and leaf analysis testing for each site. Soil and plant/leaf samples were taken from both the treated and untreated areas.

Trial results for sporting oval sites have revealed a significant reduction in soil hardness, improvement in nutrient levels, moisture retention and soil porosity through the use of recycled organics products. These results have been included in the case studies that have been developed for each project site.

Click below to read the case studies about the selected sites.

Sporting ovals

City of Darebin - JE Moore Oval (Reservoir) (240 KB)

City of Darebin - Zwar Reserve (Preston) (176 KB)

City of Yarra - WT Peterson Oval (North Fitzroy) (285 KB)

Shire of Yarra Ranges - Morrison Reserve (Mt Evelyn) (253 KB)

Community reserves

City of Yarra - Atherton Reserve (Fitzroy) (176 KB)

Stormwater treatment

City of Yarra - Edinburgh Gardens (North Fitzroy)

Garden beds

City of Frankston - George Pentland Botanic Gardens (Frankston South) (235 KB)

The suppliers involved in the pilot were composters whose products comply with Australian Standards (AS 4454). These were Enviromix, SITA, Natural Recovery Systems and ANL.

The future

The HPOW project will conduct further trials to measure and show the long-term benefits that can be obtained from using recycled organics, along with developing clearer product specifications to assist purchasing  and demonstrate how recycled organics can augment existing soil management regimes.

By communicating these benefits, it is intended the program will encourage the local government sector to 'close the loop' from collecting organics at the kerbside, to recycling and buying back the final certified product.

Making the switch to recycled organics

For more information about the Healthy Parks, Ovals and Waterways project please contact Zandy Powell on 8698 9809 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For advice and research on the production, benefits and use of recycled organics in a variety of soils and applications visit the Compost for Soils website.

For information about the certified compost scheme and the manufacturers who supply certified compost products click here.


Compost Australia – the peak national body for the organics processing and recycling industry which aims to support a professional and sustainable industry by establishing and implementing an industry development plan

Recycled Organics - provides useful technical information and resources on research and development, training and other related services

Standards Australia – the Australian Standard for Composts, Soil Conditioners and Mulches AS4454-2003 is available for purchase on this site

Centre for Organics and Resource Enterprises (CORE) – an industry environmental marketing company specialising in the development and marketing of recycled organics products, technologies and services.

Waste Policy Review

The Department of Sustainability and Environment in partnership with environment portfolio agencies the Environment Protection Authority, Sustainability Victoria and the Metropolitan and Regional Waste Management Groups, is leading a review of waste policy to recommend a new Victorian Waste Policy. 

This review allows for a rethink on the ways we determine, and treat waste and resource recovery. It will set out a road-map for achieving the best possible value and outcomes from the way we manage waste.

The review will be focused primarily on:

  • The strategic, legislative, institutional and investment settings that influence the nature and performance of waste management, and;
  • Solid municipal waste, commercial and industrial waste, and construction and demolition waste.

It is important that the new policy is informed by the expert knowledge and understanding of our stakeholders. DSE has prepared a Waste Policy Review Discussion Paper to facilitate a conversation about waste policy in Victoria.

While the Victorian Advanced Resource Recovery Initiative (VARRI) project has concluded, some important lessons were learnt which will be considered as part of the Waste Policy Review. A VARRI summary paper highlighting the projects findings, insights, methods of analysis and gaps is now available on the DSE website.

Your input is welcomed to help inform the basis of a new waste policy framework. Written submissions relating to the discussion paper are due by 3 May 2012.

The engagement program is also available on the DSE website. It lists the forums being held across Victoria for local government, industry and community members. If you would like to participate, please register your interest by emailing your details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

To download the discussion paper and learn more about the Waste Policy Review visit the DSE website .

Top 10 tips for ‘Greening Your Office’

  1. Set a course for action. Develop a clear environmental policy for your office and create some concrete waste reduction targets. Our recommendation is to start measuring your current rate and set reduction targets to be reviewed annually.

  2. Ditch disposable. Promote and provide re-usable coffee cups, crockery and cutlery.

  3. Bin it. Make recycling bins easily accessible in your office.

  4. Save trees. Avoid excess paper waste by setting printers to double-sided as default, circulating one copy of a memo and turning scrap paper into note pads.

  5. Buy less waste. Promote environmentally friendly purchasing with minimal packaging and recycled content. Recycled copy paper, stationary and toilet paper are good places to start.

  6. More than paper. Explore setting up recycling systems for ‘other’ waste items: printer cartridges, e-waste, mobile phones, fluorescent tubes and polystyrene.

  7. Start farming: Consider setting up your own office worm farm to recycle kitchen scraps and coffee grounds. (Worms live happily and hygienically in the MWMG office).

  8. Communicate. Provide information around the office on waste actions. Nominating a sustainability officer within your office or setting up a 'Green Team' is good way to start.

  9. Motivate. Celebrate and reward your successes by communicating progress towards a greener office with staff.

  10. Get inspired. Join the Waste Wise Melbourne Network here.

Waste Wise Business Efficiency Program

The Waste Wise Business Efficiency Program will help your business:

  • use resources more efficiently

  • reduce waste

  • save money.

This program Includes 6 hours of onsite facilitation and two half day workshops held in the CBD. The program runs from March to November 2014.

Only 15 places available!

Cost: $1500 (including GST) per business (normally $2500 per business). MWMG is providing a subsidy for each participating business.

Enrolments for the 2014 program are now open. Download an application form today.

The Program

Initial Visit: The program facilitator will visit your business to help identify key waste issues and get your program started (on site visit of approximately 1hr).
Workshop 1 – The Secrets of Success: An information and training session to establish a strong framework for your Waste Wise program (half day workshop at a CBD venue).
Environment Assessment Visit: The program facilitator will assist you in conducting a waste assessment and report (on site visit of approximately 3hrs).
Workshop 2 – Opportunities for Action: A program development workshop to identify opportunities for action, engagement and improvement (half day workshop at a CBD venue).
Action Planning Visit: Staff facilitation and action planning session/meeting at each business site (on site visit of 1-2hrs).
Celebration Event: Businesses will be presented with their Waste Wise certificates at a celebratory event (CBD venue, 2hrs).

For more information on the Waste Wise Business Efficiency Program contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on 8698 9805.

About program facilitator:

The program facilitator, Stuart McQuire, is a qualified environmental scientist and experienced facilitator of business environmental efficiency improvement programs. He has undertaken waste audits and assessments for over fifteen years. Formally qualified as an Environmental Scientist and Statistician, Stuart helped to develop Victoria’s Waste Wise program and worked on that program from 1995 to 2006.

He runs a business called Green Makeover and his sustainable home in West Brunswick has gained a national and international profile for its role in pioneering environmental technologies and sustainable living.