Hepburn Shire Council is trialling an innovative glass recycling program at Daylesford Transfer Station.
During the four week trial, which is currently about two weeks in, council staff are determining how much glass goes into residents’ recycling bins and if residents are willing to recycle their glass separately.
Waste and Environment Coordinator Lisa Worthington said the transfer station now had a dedicated bin for glass recycling, which was already almost full.
“Everyone seems really positive about recycling their glass,” she said. “This exercise was about seeing how much glass we could get and it seems the community is really getting on board.”
“It means they pay less at the gate. Our next step is to get three different silages to break up the different colours of glass, which Visy will then buy to be made back into other glass products or road bases,” she said.
“If we can process and get rid of as much as we can, that is not only a lot better for the environment, but it also brings down costs,” Ms Worthington said.
She said it was a perfect region to test the initiative as there were so many wineries and beverage companies based here.
General Manager of Infrastructure at Hepburn Shire Council, Bruce Lucas said local government was facing a range of challenges regarding waste and recycling services, particularly with co-mingled recyclables.
“We are exploring a range of initiatives at our Transfer Stations to sort recyclables and reduce contamination and the volume of co-mingled recyclables,” he said.
“Communities sorting their recyclables at home, ready to be deposited at the Transfer Station, can be of great benefit and can save money at the same time.”
Mr Lucas said the community had always been supportive of the council’s initiatives to reduce waste generation and their exploration of recycling options.
“As a community, we need to minimise the use of new materials for packaging or continue to develop markets for the use of recycled products,” he said.
“Much of what we do is downstream, focusing on what to do with the waste and recyclables and we need to equally look at minimising the generation of waste and recyclable materials,” he said.
Mr Lucas said council strongly encouraged residents to separate their glass when dropping waste off at the transfer station as this incurred no cost to residents.
“Sorting your load into the various recycling streams is one such example and can save you money as well as achieving a much better environmental outcome.”
It is hoped the trial will reduce the cost of transporting co-mingled recycling and tip fees.