One of the most frequent pleas from residents of Daylesford is for the introduction of a ‘green bin’ for garden waste, as an addition to the kerbside waste collection provided by Council.

The assumption underlying the current lack of provision of garden waste collections is that in a rural shire, most people will have capacity to absorb/burn/compost unwanted green waste. In Daylesford, as in other towns in the Shire, this is clearly not the case.

Many residents struggle with the current requirement that either you compost and mulch garden waste yourself or you take your garden waste to the transfer station and pay to leave it there. In November garden waste can be left at the transfer station for free. The aim is to assist residents cope with the explosion of growth in gardens in the spring and to help them reduce fuel in preparation for fire season.  For those with large gardens or for those who are infirm or elderly, the current arrangements for green waste do not meet their needs.

In 2020 the Victorian Government announced a range of changes to waste management in a policy document entitled “Transforming Recycling in Victoria”. The policy states ‘in future all Victorians will need to separate their waste into four streams so we can recycle more of our waste.’ The four streams are:

  • Waste to landfill
  • Recyclable
  • Glass, and
  • Green waste or FOGO (includes food and organic)

These streams are then assumed to translate into a four bin collection system.

The lead time for Councils to introduce the four bin system is lengthy – the scheme is not mandatory till 2030. However most councils in Victoria are already delivering four stream waste collection and are well ahead of Hepburn, which last reviewed its waste management in 2014.

Macedon Ranges introduced a four bin system from February 2020, including FOGO.

Ballarat has a three bin system including green bins for garden waste and a separate glass collection.

Our Council is committed to reviewing its waste management service late in 2021 and is currently trialing a FOGO collection in Clunes. But we know that the lead time for policy and program development and for translating this into budget allocations will mean no change to services in Daylesford until 2022 at the earliest.

For those of us who already struggle with trailer loads of waste to the transfer station, and paying for the privilege, this all seems far too slow. Oh for a green bin!