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City of Melbourne: Degraves Street Recycling Facility

The Degraves Street Recycling Facility was launched in March 2013. The purpose of the program was to change the waste and amenity culture in the café precinct and provide for food waste, cardboard and commingled recycling. The program was borne out of the Integrated Waste Management Program endorsed by Council in 2010. The program included initiatives to trial small-scale organics processing technology and test the model of a shared recycling collection point in the central city.

Degraves Place was identified as a target location for the trial due to the high density of food businesses and the high number of bins stored on the street. Waste bins were poorly managed in this laneway leading to a highly visible amenity problem with overflowing bins, dumped rubbish, litter, vermin, odour and access issues. Secondly, there was no recycling taking place. The City of Melbourne (CoM) especially wanted to trial the processing of food waste – something CoM hadn’t done before.

The project was designed to engage and educate the 32 businesses within the precinct about recycling, helping them to set up source separation systems in their kitchens and understand the importance of recycling and the issue about food waste in landfills. Recycling Officers were employed to operate the facility and carry out the education component.

The officers worked collaboratively with the traders in the precinct to overcome challenges such as space constraints, late night operating hours, high staff turnover and behaviour change.

Key achievements of the program include:

  • a reduction of the garbage waste stream by 66.0%
  • a resource recovery rate of 66.9%
  • food waste reduction of 68.9%
  • a combined total of 392 tonnes of recycling diverted from landfill
  • local community gardens, and Council parks and gardens supplied with biomass created from the food dehydrator.

Of the businesses surveyed at the project completion, 100% described their satisfaction level as either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the project as a whole.

At its core, the Degraves Street Recycling Facility has vastly improved the amenity of the lane. It has reduced dumped rubbish, graffiti, odour issues, vermin problems and litter in the laneway with the added social and educational benefits passed on to the community.

Partners that supported the project are: Ross House Association, and the Metropolitan Local Government Waste and Resource Recovery Fund (Metro Fund).
For more information on this project, and to view their video clip, please visit the City of Melbourne web page or phone (03) 9658 9658.

For details about the Metro Fund please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (03) 8698 9800.

Frankston City Council: Halve Our Waste

Frankston City Council’s Metro Fund project successfully helped residents to reduce their waste through changes in behaviour towards food, waste and consumption.

The key aims of the Halve Our Waste (HOW) program were to change community behaviour to reduce waste-to-landfill and to increase the uptake of composting or worm farming in participating households, schools, preschools and kindergartens.  The program also aimed to gain a better understanding of the barriers and incentives that work to engender waste reduction.

The HOW program was successful in reaching its target of 1,000 participating households and 22 local schools, equating to 86 teachers and 479 students. Community members were also engaged through the HOW Facebook page, educational workshops and the HOW e-newsletter.

HOW reviewed and built on knowledge around waste reduction and the barriers and enablers to changing behaviour. Highlights of the program include:

  • a waste-to-landfill reduction of 13% by participating households
  • recycling contamination rate of less than 10% by participating households
  • a very low attrition rate, with 62% of households continuing to compost after completion of the program, 7% continue to worm farm and 30% now composting and worm farming.
  • a nearly 90% of teachers reported an excellent or very good understanding of composting and/or worm farming at the program completion, up from 5% prior to the program
  • households reported a significant increase in knowledge across the three domains of composting, worm farming and recycling

For the program participants, HOW appears to have had an impact on their attitudes and behaviours. The positive aspects identified above are reflected in the 93% of survey respondents who were satisfied or very satisfied with their HOW program experience. Additionally, while not an objective, the HOW program has led to a community of interest forming among participants around waste reduction.

The completion of the HOW program now represents an opportunity for Frankston City Council to capitalise on a significant amount of positive momentum and goodwill towards waste reduction.

This project was delivered by Frankston City Council with the support of the Metropolitan Local Government Waste and Resource Recovery Fund (Metro Fund).

For more information on this project please see the Frankston City Council webpage or phone 1300 322 322.

For details about the Metro Fund please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (03) 8698 9800.

Contact Us

Phone: 03 8698 9800     

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Level 4, Tower 4, World Trade Centre,18-38 Siddeley Street, Melbourne, VIC 3005

P.O. Box 1326, South Melbourne, VIC 3205

Getting here
View a map of the area.

Public transport and walking
Southern Cross Station is the closest train station. It is less than a ten minute walk, walking south along Spencer Street to the World Trade Centre in Siddeley Street. Siddeley Street is the first street on the right after walking under the Flinders Street rail bridge, opposite Batman Park. Enter the World Trade Centre building via the revolving doors on your left, opposite the roundabout.

Alternatively you can access the World Trade Centre via the pedestrian overbridge across Flinders Street (turn right at the Spencer St/Flinders St intersection and you’ll see the overbridge ahead of you).  Once at the building the lifts will be to your left.

You can also access the World Trade Centre from the Yarra River side, by walking through the WTC Wharf food court. The lifts are past the escalators on your right.

Three trams lines stop directly opposite Siddeley Street at Batman Park on Spencer Street (tram stop 124). This stop is within the Free Tram Zone. Take:

  • tram 96 (from Bourke Street)
  • trams 112 and 109 (from Collins Street)

There is a public parking building under the World Trade Centre which is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. For more information and rates visit Greenco Parking.  There is also a Wilson’s Car Park at the corner of Siddeley and Flinders Streets.

Bike parking
No bikes are allowed in or through the foyer areas in the World Trade Centre. Bikes must be parked outside.


If you have trouble finding the building, give us a call on 03 8698 9800.


Local Buffer Support Program

MWRRG will deliver the Local Government Buffer Support Program over four years (2014-17) in collaboration with local government, and key State Government agencies. This approach will ensure the policies and tools can be successfully used by local planning authorities.

The Local Buffer Support Program Evaluation Panel, through a Request for Tender process, has appointed AECOM to identify a suite of statutory planning tools and other measures for the management of buffer distances, and to recommend appropriate tools and measures to address the buffer issues at an initial seven priority sites.

What are the buffer project objectives?

  • The objectives of the proposed Local Government Buffer Support Program are to:
    • support and empower metropolitan local government to respond to the land use planning challenges and opportunities set out in Getting full value, Plan Melbourne, the draft Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Policy (SWRRIP) and the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Strategic Plan (Strategic Plan).
    • develop a suite of land use planning policies, tools and controls that can be used by local planning authorities to define protect and maintain buffers to waste and resource recovery facilities.
    • deploy tools for an initial tranche of sites within metropolitan Melbourne deemed to be a high priority by the Getting full value Project Control Board.
    • support and establish an action group of state and local government senior metropolitan planners and waste managers to work with MWRRG and the waste portfolio on implementing buffer controls.

What will the project funding deliver?

  • Funding of $1,464,000 will allow the development and implementation of the buffer tools and controls over key sites across Melbourne including sites in the south east.
  • The policies, tool and controls developed by this program will become part of the Victorian Planning Provisions and will therefore be made available for use by others. This includes other metropolitan councils whose sites are not included in the study, regional Councils and, regional waste management groups and industries and waste and resource recovery operators wanting to provide their businesses with land use planning certainty.

What will the buffer support program provide?

  • MWRRG proposes developing and delivering the buffer support program in collaboration with local government, and key state government agencies. This approach will ensure the policies and tools can be successfully used by local planning authorities through:
    • a clear and consistent set of planning policies and tools, informed by state policies and local knowledge and needs
    • fostering a shared understanding – for state, local government and industry planning professionals – of the significance of waste and resource recovery facilities
    • developing ownership and broad uptake of the policies and tools by planning professionals
    • strengthening waste and resource recovery expertise and capacity in local government planners.
  • MWRRG will draw on its partnering approach and practices that are currently being used to successfully deliver collective procurement for organic facilities.

Why are buffers important?

  • Establishing and protecting buffer distances over the life of the facility is critical for minimising adverse impacts on adjoining communities, and for preventing encroachment of incompatible adjacent uses (which can lead to the early closure of facilities).
  • The early closure of facilities could in turn have a negative impact on business confidence, investment in new waste disposal and resource recovery infrastructure and local government waste and recovery costs and contracts.

Why are buffers and encroachment the key challenge?

  • The planning system has a critical role to ensure waste management and recovery facilities are protected from encroachment by incompatible land uses.
  • Planning can ensure there is adequate infrastructure for new urban development while protecting the public health and amenity of residents and businesses in the vicinity.

We all know finding sites for new resource recovery facilities and managing planning issues around existing facilities is a challenge. How are you proposing to fix this?

  • The draft schedule emphasises that suitable site selection is critical to the success of the Strategic Plan. Appropriate siting based on consultation with local government, EPA Victoria and the waste management industry and the community is the best way to protect the environment and public health and minimise commercial risk.
  • The schedule sets out five high level criteria to be applied to resource recovery infrastructure. It recommends that waste management sites are of a suitable size are co-located with other compatible land uses and where possible and have good access to transport.
  • The Strategic Plan also stipulates zoning and planning to provide sufficient buffers around sites to ensure that sites do not adversely affect the quality of life of people living and working in neighbouring communities and to protect the sites from encroachment by residential and business developments.

Why does the draft Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan, and the draft Strategic Plan, say that Clayton is an important site for resource recovery?

  • When the Clayton landfill closes, (expected to be within the next five years) it will create a short-term reduction of landfill capacity of around 1.2 million tonnes per annum in the metropolitan south-east region. However, because of its zoning and location, the Clayton site is considered suitable for the establishment of a resource recovery facility.
  • Creating such a facility in the region could also help reduce the pressure on any new landfill site that may be needed to contain the waste from the south-east region.

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

The following educational resources are FREE to good homes. If you are a council or community group that can make use of any of these items please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone her on 8698 9800.
Please note, you will need to collect these items yourself or organise for a courier by 5 June (Queen’s Birthday weekend).

First in, first served!

1. The Recycling Hub (Wood) – 1620mm long x 590mm wide x 1280mm high

recycling hub1  recycling hub2 

This unit is on wheels and encourages people to recycle items that usually can’t be recycled via kerbside recycling bins.  The unit has containers, drawers and cupboards for different items (which need to be taken to a transfer station/resource recovery centre when full). The signs are attached with velcro and so can be changed to suit your organisation and recycling preferences.


2. The Recycling Home table (Wood) – 1200mm long x 1200mm wide x 1450mm high

 Recycling table 

Recycling table2

This table top depicts has different rooms of a home (lounge, bathroom, study, bedroom, kitchen) and is used to demonstrate and lead discussions on the different type of recyclable materials that are typically found in each room.  The shelf and sample recyclables shown in the photo are also included.


3. The 'How to Empty your Garbage Bin' sign (Wood) – 580mm long x 40mm wide x 1050mm high

Door sign

Door sign2

A free standing educational sign with doors that open to show composting, recycling and waste wise messages.


4. Hard plastic ‘easy access’ bin lid covers – fits 240 litre bins (approx. 1 sqm)

Open lid cover

Open lid cover2 

These lid covers sit on top of an open 240 litre bin to allow for rubbish to be recycled/disposed of without having to open the hinge lid each time. Perfect for events or situations where the bins are used frequently. 4 available.

Healthy Sustainable Gardens (HSG)

Healthy Sustainable Gardens (HSG) was a market development strategy that ran between 2005 and 2010 to:

  • raise awareness and knowledge about green organics recycling
  • promote the buy back of recycled mulch and compost
  • support the recycled organics industry and councils to close the loop on green organics recycling.

Healthy Sustainable Gardens was 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 met the Australian Standards for Composting (AS4454). The Back to Earth initiative continues to raise awareness of this journey from kerbside back to earth.

During the HSG strategy period a range of activities were 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.


The Healthy Sustainable Gardens 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 green waste recycling through Back to Earth messages and 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 and audits to discover what collection and educational approaches lead to reduced contamination levels
  • undertaking research to ascertain community understanding of green waste recycling and their attitudues and behaviours towards it.

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

Board members

Les Willmott (Chair)


Les has been a member of the Board since its establishment in 2006. He has lived in the Maroondah area for over 40 years, served as a councillor with the former Croydon City Council for over nine years and was Mayor for four of those years. Les was elected to Maroondah City Council in 1997 and served as the Council’s first Mayor. He has since served as Mayor a further two times.

Les represented the council on Least waste (Eastern Regional Waste Management Group) and served as Deputy Chairman. Les is also the Publicity Officer for the Croydon Branch of the Bone Marrow Donor Registry.


Director Geoffrey Carruthers


Geoffrey is a Chartered Professional Civil Engineer who has secured, facilitated, and led numerous multi-million dollar project developments internationally. He has a successful record in project management and delivery, and has held CEO positions at two Regional Development Organisations in Victoria. He has also worked in natural resources management (CEO of the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority) and in the water reuse sector (as a consultant to the Southern Rural Water Authority).

Geoffrey has been a Sessional Member of Planning Panels Victoria since 2003, and has been appointed to a broad cross section of planning amendment and Ministerial Advisory Committee matters. He has operated at the government / private sector interface in Australia, SE Asia, and USA, and is committed to help maintain a balanced, viable and sustainable future for global communities. He is a past President of the Association of Development Executives Victoria, National Councillor of the Regional Science Association of Australia & New Zealand, a Member of the College of Civil Engineers and is a Fellow of Engineers Australia.

He is based on the Mornington Peninsula, operating as a freelance project management and development consultant, and is actively involved in the strategic development / planning sector.

Director Margaret Donnan

Margaret-B-Donnan 2014Margaret is an experienced Non-Executive Director with more than 15 years’ experience on a range of Boards and as Chief Executive of the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association, the peak national industry body representing Australia’s $40 billion chemical industry.

Margaret brings a depth of government, business and not for profit skill in public policy and legislation, strategy development and administration, government / business / community interface, chemicals and plastics manufacturing, innovation and research, sustainability, occupational health and safety, security, corporate governance and risk management, and stakeholder engagement and strategic thinking.

Margaret is committed to sustainability and industry leadership and has a strong track record in effective stakeholder relations, organisational representation and advocacy, and in working with Ministers, governments, industry and community to deliver outcomes.

Director Bob Fairclough

BobFairclough 2013Dr Bob Fairclough was elected as a councillor to Wyndham City Council in 2005 and has served on the Refuse Disposable Facility (RDF) sub-committee for the last eight years. Bob is married and has two grown children and two grandchildren. He has a PhD in Health Science and previously held the position as Professor and Head of School of Life Science at Victoria University.

Bob has been actively involved in the RDF sub-committee at Wyndham which provides oversight to the RDF facility which collects some 800,000 tons of waste each year from neighbouring councils in the western region of Wyndham. He has been very supportive of proposals to implement recycling and waste minimisation procedures at the RDF and is keen to extend these recycling initiatives to other waste management facilities in metropolitan Melbourne.

Director Jan Fitzgerald

Jan joined the MWRRG Board in 2014, and brings a broad range of experience that includes accounting and finance, tax consulting, corporate sustainability, and waste management and resource recovery.
Jan is an experienced non-executive director, with particular interest and expertise in ensuring organisations have a focus of good governance, strong collaboration and a values-based culture. Her commerce and environmental management qualifications, combined with being a CPA and a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors, supplement this experience. Jan’s experience and qualifications ensures she has contributed to organisations successfully delivering on their strategic, commercial, and sustainable outcomes.
Jan’s experience in waste management and resource recovery started at an early age, collecting aluminium cans at the football after the game. A few decades on, and Jan is a national sustainability manager overseeing waste and recycling at 780 sites across Australia. The scale might have changed but for Jan the goal remains the same: to unlock the value in our ‘waste’. Jan is excited to be a member of the MWRRG Board and contributing to the future direction of metropolitan Melbourne’s waste and resource recovery outcomes.

Director David Gibb

David Gibb 2014After 15 years chairing the Mornington Peninsula Regional Waste Management Group David was appointed to the MWRRG Board by the Minister on 1 August 2014.  David still operates the beef cattle farm at Red Hill upon which he was raised.  David has been a councillor at Mornington Peninsula Shire since 1997 and twice Mayor.

David's qualifications and associations are B Sc. and GAICD, member of VPELA (Fellow), UDIA, and the National Trust.  He is a former Director of Toorak College, Mt Eliza, former Chair of the MAV Melbourne 2030 Advisory Committee, and founding member of the Dunns Creek Landcare group. Other interests include Strategic Planning and travel.

Director Heinz Kreutz

Heinz KreutzHeinz has been a member of the Board since its establishment in 2006. Born in Germany, he has spent almost his entire adult life in Melbourne. He has been a resident of Camberwell since the mid 1990s and is married with one daughter. While originally trained as a fitter/welder, Heinz has spent the last 20 years in education, first as a teacher and translator and after receiving his PhD in Linguistics, has been working as a senior lecturer at Monash University since 1991. More recently he has been involved at senior faculty and university level as Associate Dean in planning, administration and governance.

Director Tom Melican

TomMelican 2013Cr Tom Melican is married with four adult children. He was elected as a Banyule City Councillor in March 2003 and voted Mayor in 2009 and 2012. He has a passion for good environmental management and been involved in several successful environmental and transport-related committees including the Metropolitan Transport Forum, the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Environment Committee, Planning Advisory Committee and Transport and Infrastructure Advisory Group, the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action and the Northern Melbourne Regional Development Australia Committee.

The increasing amount of waste being collected and directed to landfill, and the associated cost implications to councils and the environment has always been of concern to Cr Melican and it influenced his decision to run for Board membership. The MWRRG Board position gives him an opportunity to be involved in the strategic long term planning for waste initiatives in metropolitan Melbourne, minimising waste and reducing costs for all.


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)