New board leads waste management group

Cr Belinda Coates. Picture: Kate Healy
Cr Belinda Coates. Picture: Kate Healy

Recycling food waste could save councils and ratepayers thousands of dollars in landfill costs.

The Grampians and Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group board’s new chairman Sebastian Klein said food waste was the next big thing for councils to work on.

The group of western Victorian councils work with communities and Sustainability Victoria on waste and resource recovery projects to protect the environment, deliver health and amenity outcomes and boost the state’s economy.

Cr Klein said he was involved because he wanted to drive down the environmental impost and cost on the region.

“It is no secret I am a big advocate for waste energy and food is the next big waste thing we have to get out of landfill,” he said.

“We will save hundreds of thousands across the region if we get food out of landfill.

“There are a range of different ways ti get food out of the waste stream, whether it is domestic composting or industrial, they are things we need to look at.”

“The acting CEO has to be applauded for the work they have done educating on compost in schools.”

Ballarat City Councillor Belinda Coates was also appointed to the board, along with Yarriambiack Shire Councillor Corinne Heintz as one of two new members.

Northern Grampians Shire Council’s Kevin Erwin was reappointed director.

Cr Coates said she was keen to have a positive influence driving projects with clear environmental, economical and social benefits.

“There is lots of opportunity to do that,” she said.

“In the transition periods I am keen to see actions and projects that are underway being delivered.

“It is a matter of working for the benefit of the whole region – taking a regional perspective on ways to implement resource recovery and reduce waste.”

Already underway are plans to reduce waste and landfill and the resource smart schools program.

The program provides educations to school children about waste management.

There is also a mobile project that travels to towns and helps raise awareness about waste reduction.

Western Victoria MP Jaala Pulford said the directors were nominated by local government waste forums and will ensure the board has the required leadership, skills and experience to operate effectively.

“I welcome these appointments and congratulate everyone involved,” she said.

“The government is continuing our work to deliver positive results in the waste and resource recovery sector for the benefit of the environment and our communities and I’m confident the new board will play a pivotal role.

“The more diverse our waste management boards are, the better they will be at making balanced, informed decisions and serving the needs of their local communities.”

Ms Pulford also said she wanted to thank outgoing chairman Thomas Sullivan and directors Barry Rinaldi and Andrew McLean for their service to the the group.