City of Darebin: After-market development of the hard waste stream and collections

Almost 1.5 million households in Melbourne have access to hard waste collections at a cost of over $10 per household for a total cost of over $14 million. Darebin and Yarra Councils operate hard waste collections and seek to increase diversion of hard waste and streetscape waste in line with other collections and to understand the benefits and costs around increasing diversion.

The objective of this project was to identify opportunities to dramatically increase waste diversion through hard waste collections, a significant component of the domestic waste stream. The key objective of the study is to facilitate a metropolitan-wide step change in handling non-bin based household waste.

The study sought to test whether it is possible to significantly expand the diversion of materials collected through hard waste services without a dramatic increase in costs. The following recommendations are options for consideration:

  • Cease collections and assist resident with alternative routes - if this option was selected then communication with other councils who have stopped their service may assist in avoiding any negative outcomes and maximising the benefits.
  • Revised collection, subsequent sorting -it may become possible to collect material using the widespread format of rear load compactors and then to present this material to a facility for systematic subsequent sorting. The subsequent sorting undertaken by Outlook is an example of what can be achieved in doing a post collection sort of the mixed waste stream.
  • Revised collection, additional drive past - Councils who have introduced additional collections for different recyclable fractions of the hard waste stream have achieved higher diversion. The additional cost of these collections is partly offset by the reduced waste disposal cost. There may be the ability to collect several recyclable materials in each sweep of the collection area.
  • Revised collection, modified vehicles - when sorting material either during collection or post collection, the use of an open flat area or sorting compartments can benefit recycling and reuse. Some NSW councils use purpose built vehicles with separate compartments to aid sorting.
  • Charity collection for reuse and recycling - the key charities are open to discussing a combined Council/charity collection option. This could utilise Council, charity or contractor staff for collection. It could also utilise council or charity booking services.

For more information about this project please contact the Manager Environment and Natural Resources at Darebin City Council on (03) 8470 8888. 

For more information about the Metro Fund contact metro.fund@mwmg.vic.gov.au or ph: 8698 9800.

Last updated: 04/03/2016