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Trash to treasure: What Victoria’s new four bin system means for you

We’ve heard the saying before, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. But what if there was 14.4 million tonnes of this trash, 4.4 million tonnes of which was being sent to landfill*? That’s enough trash going to landfill to fill The Empire State Building around 12 times over.

This is where the Victorian Government have stepped in, having announced an investment of more than $300 million into a 10-year policy and action plan for waste and recycling, converting trash to treasure, for generations to come.

The plan will help Victorians reduce, reuse, repair and recycle with a complete overhaul of the state’s recycling system, greater investment in the sector and the creation of waste management as an essential service.

But what does this mean for you?

The way Victorian households and workplaces recycle is going to change. From 2021, the Victorian Government will roll out a four-bin waste and recycling system to minimise waste and promote correct recycling. The four colour-coded bins will introduce a new separate glass recycling bin, with the remaining bins addressing:

  • Combined food and garden organics
  • Plastics, paper, cardboard and metals recycling
  • Household waste

The four-bin waste system will look different across the state, with the contrasting needs of metropolitan, regional and rural households. The government will work closely with local councils to meet the needs of communities, whether it be local drop-off points, home composting support or worm farms.

The new glass recycling bin

While you may be familiar with combining your glass recycling with paper and plastics, glass can become a major contaminant as it breaks and fragments stick to other materials. This limits the recyclability of both the glass and the other materials. The new purple bin will separate the collection of glass, such as jars to bottles, allowing them to be converted into resources like glass sand by facilities like Repurpose It. Glass sand is a valuable resource that can be used to replace virgin sand in asphalt, concrete and other construction materials.

By doing so, it is forecasted that the value of recycled glass, plastic, paper and cardboard will increase by up to $210 million annually.

Recovery centres, such as Repurpose It, will play a major role in the conversion of glass waste. With our one-of-a-kind washing technology, we’re able to both collect and wash the glass to be repurposed into high-value resources to be used in the building of new infrastructure like roads and footpaths.

* Victorian Recycling Industry Annual Waste Services Report 2017–18