Overview

The Victorian Government is working with councils and Alpine Resort Management Boards across Victoria to support the roll out of a new standardised four-stream household waste and recycling system for more and better recycling and less waste and landfill.

Councils will roll out the new system in line with local community needs and considerations, as we move towards our objective of all households having access to services for separated glass recycling and food organics and garden organics (FOGO).

Most Victorian households will use a colour-coded four-bin system:

  • glass – purple lid
  • FOGO – green lid
  • mixed recyclables – yellow lid
  • household rubbish – red lid.

Rural and regional households may have access to drop-off points, transfer stations, and/or the colour coded bins, as deemed most appropriate by councils in consultation with their communities and in consideration of local circumstances.

To support use of the new four-stream system and maximise the value we get from our precious resources, we are defining the items that can go in each of the four streams. Defining which items go in which stream, and making this the same for all Victorian households, will increase recycling and the quality of recycled materials, and mean less waste to landfill.

To help inform the draft lists for each stream, we’ve been working closely with industry, councils and representative groups to understand:

  • how to make it easier to process recyclable materials, and
  • the issues that make processing more difficult.

We’re making standard lists for each material stream for more and better recycling:

  • making it easier for people to put items in the right stream no matter where they are in Victoria
  • consistent sorting by households across the state means material streams are cleaner and reduces contamination and risk of materials going to landfill.

More information about how we’ve been developing the standard lists is below.

How to participate

The draft standard lists for glass, FOGO, and mixed recyclables are available for download from the Document Library below. Please note that the draft lists are technical documents. We will work out how best to present this information simply and clearly once the lists are final.

We are now asking Victorians what is most important to them when recycling at home. We are also providing another opportunity for councils and recycling organisations to tell us what they think. We continue to consult directly with key stakeholder groups including industry and councils during this time.

Please complete the relevant survey below.

We acknowledge that this is a difficult time during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it may impact your ability to engage with us on this issue. If you would like to get in touch with further questions or comments, please email us at kerbside.reform@delwp.vic.gov.au or call us on 136 186.

Next steps

Once this consultation period has closed, we will analyse the feedback and use it to inform final draft lists and how we work with the community to ensure the system is as easy as possible to understand and use.

A consultation feedback summary will be published on this Engage Victoria webpage.

Standard lists for each material stream of household waste and recycling – glass, FOGO, mixed recyclables, and household rubbish – will be part of new regulations that are currently being drafted.

There will be another opportunity to provide feedback on the standard lists during formal consultation on service standards as part of the regulatory process.

Victorians send four million tonnes of waste to landfill each year. A significant amount of landfill comes from people putting items into the wrong bins. Incorrect recycling can cause high quality recyclables to become contaminated by rubbish.

The Victorian Government has invested over $515 million to deliver the biggest transformation and reform of Victoria’s waste and recycling industry in our state’s history. This includes $380 million to deliver Recycling Victoria: A new economy, the government’s plan to build a sustainable and thriving circular economy for Victoria.

The government has invested $127 million to improve and strengthen recycling across Victoria. This includes the roll out of a new standardised four-stream household waste and recycling system (the four-stream system). We are working with councils and Alpine Resort Management Boards to support the roll-out of the four-stream system. This system will enable more and better recycling, and less waste and landfill.

Councils will roll out the new system in line with local community needs and considerations. All households will have access to services for separated glass recycling by 2027 and food organics and garden organics (FOGO) by 2030.

Most Victorian households will use a colour-coded four-bin system:

  • glass – purple lid
  • FOGO – green lid
  • mixed recyclables – yellow lid
  • household rubbish – red lid.

Rural and regional households may have access to drop-off points, transfer stations, and/or the colour-coded bins. Councils will decide on the best fit for their communities and local circumstances. A state-wide education program will help people understand the four-stream system.

There will be some items that cannot go in any of the four bins. Households will need to take these items to alternative collection points. An example of this is e-waste.

To support use of the four-stream system and maximise the value we get from our precious resources, we are defining the items that can go in each of the four streams. To do this, we are making standard lists of accepted and not accepted items.

Defining which items go in which stream, and making this the same for all Victorian households, will increase the quality and volume of recycled materials and mean less waste and landfill. Standard lists will make it easier for people to sort waste and recycling and put items in the right stream no matter where they are in Victoria.

To help inform the draft lists for each stream, we’ve been working with industry, councils, and representative groups to understand:

  • how to make it easier to process recyclable materials, and
  • the issues that make processing more difficult.

We have developed draft standard lists for the three recycling streams: glass, FOGO, and mixed recyclables. The draft lists are available for download below.

Please note that the draft lists are technical documents. We will work out how best to present this information simply and clearly once the lists are final.

There will be opportunities to provide feedback on standard lists for the household rubbish stream in 2022.

More detailed information about standard lists is below.

In 2019-20, councils collected 2.37 million tonnes of waste from Victorian households. Of this, only 45 per cent was diverted from landfill and given new life.

There’s a lot of room for improvement. 78 per cent of all rubbish from households could be recovered into new products through the four-stream system. Out of all the waste Victorians throw away at home, 39 per cent is food and garden waste and 40 per cent is recyclable material (glass, metals, paper/cardboard, and plastics).

The contamination rate in household mixed recyclables bins was 13 per cent in 2019-20. This high level of contamination:

  • increases processing costs
  • reduces the quantity and value of high-quality recyclable materials, and
  • means that some recyclable material goes to landfill.

The new four-stream system aims to improve household recycling to produce higher-quality recycled material for reuse. Standardising what goes into household bins will make it easier for Victorians to recycle correctly.

Standardisation of lists for sorting waste and recycling aligns with the National Waste Policy Action Plan 2019 (Action 3.7). The action plan will consider national standards for household recycling collection and materials recovery facilities to improve consistency and performance.

Objectives

In line with Recycling Victoria: A new economy targets, the key objectives for setting standard lists are to:

  • make recycling at home easier to understand and do
  • make separation of waste and recycling at home the same across the state to reduce confusion
  • increase the number of items that are recycled
  • reduce waste sent to landfill
  • improve the quality of recycled materials.

We have developed criteria for the glass, FOGO, and mixed recyclables streams to determine which items should be accepted and not accepted in each stream. These criteria are based on our analysis of the challenges for processing the different recycling streams.

We have set the proposed standards as high as practicable, aiming to make greatest use of resources and drive market innovation to increase resource recovery.

Timeline

Figure 1 below illustrates the broad phases of the project and timeline for setting the standard lists.

Figure 1 Stages and timeline of developing standard lists

Figure 1 shows a timeline. The phases shown in the timeline are phase 1: initial industry consultation and analysis of materials from January to August 2021; phase 2: public consultation from November 2021 to early January 2022; phase 3: formal consultation on draft standards in 2022; phase 4: implementation of standard lists through sub-legislation in 2022.

To develop the draft standard lists, we talked to industry, councils, peak bodies, and other relevant organisations (Phase 1). In Phase 2 of the project, we are asking Victorians to provide early feedback on the draft lists.

We will also draft standards to support adherence with the standard lists. The standards will help Victorians to recycle correctly. Additional public consultation on these draft standards will happen before the lists are finalised. This is part of the regulatory impact statement process, which will happen in 2022.

Below is a summary of the key challenges and proposed approach for setting standard lists for the three recycling streams that are the subject of this public consultation.

Why is glass separated from mixed recyclables?

When mixed with other recyclable materials, glass shatters. Glass pieces contaminate valuable, easy to recycle materials such as paper and cardboard. This reduces the quality of these materials and their ability to be recycled. Broken glass also damages recycling equipment. Separating glass from mixed recyclables means that more materials will be recycled at a lower cost.

What is recycled glass used for?

Glass bottles (such as soft drink bottles) and jars (such as jam jars) can be recycled again and again through glass-to-glass recycling. Glass-to-glass recycling is high value and the preferred use of this resource.

Victoria already manufactures approximately 900 million glass containers a year. Recycled content has risen from 33 per cent to 45 per cent per container. There are ambitions to achieve between 60-70 per cent recycled content in each glass container.

Collecting glass separately makes it easier to use in glass-to-glass recycling. It also reduces glass contamination of other recyclables.

What else can recycled glass be used for?

Where glass-to-glass recycling is not viable, there is strong demand for recovered glass in the construction sector. Using recycled glass in construction reduces the need for other raw materials.

Why can’t I put drinking glasses or windows in the glass stream?

Glass bottles and jars melt at the same temperature. Other types of household glass such as drinking glasses, windows and mirrors melt at different temperatures. If these items are put in the glass stream, they can contaminate recyclable glass so it melts incorrectly and cannot be reused.

Standard lists for the glass stream

The draft list of accepted items for the glass stream includes glass bottles and jars for food, drinks, medicine, and toiletries.

The draft lists of accepted and not accepted materials for the glass stream are available for download below. Please note that the draft lists are technical documents. We will work out how best to present this information simply and clearly once the lists are final.

What should I do with the lids on glass bottles and jars?

It is proposed that glass bottles and jars are put in the glass stream with lids on where feasible. This creates opportunities for processing facilities to recycle bottle and jar lids. Lids that can’t be reattached (such as beer bottle lids) should not be placed in the glass stream. We will use the consultation process for the mixed recyclables stream to help determine the right approach to loose lids.

Recommendations for the glass stream are based on advice from Victoria’s glass sorting and cleaning, manufacturing, and glass sand industries.

Criteria for assessing what goes into the glass stream

The criteria for assessing materials for inclusion in the household glass stream are:

  • compatibility with current and planned sorting and/or processing infrastructure
  • ability to use recycled material, and
  • occupational health and safety risk.

How do my mixed recyclables get recycled?

For an item to be successfully recycled, it needs to be collected, sorted with similar items, then reprocessed into recycled raw material that can be reused in new products.

Figure 2 Overview of the recycling process

Figure 2 shows the process of recycling from use and disposal to collection, sorting, reprocessing, and making a new item from recycled materials.

For more information on the recycling process for mixed recyclables, read about Where your recycling goes on the Sustainability Victoria website.

What are the challenges for mixed recyclables?

In Victoria’s current recycling system some items are easier to recycle because they are easy to sort and reprocess, such as aluminium cans. Others are too small to sort, made from too many different materials, and/or have no way to be reused. These items are usually sent to landfill.

Increasing recycling rates requires work across the supply chain for different materials. Standardising lists is one way to help increase recovery and reuse of materials. Other important developments include changes to packaging design and innovations in recycling methods.

Plastics pose the biggest challenge for recycling. Plastics made from many types of materials are particularly difficult to recycle. Successful recovery of household plastics is essential for Victoria to meet its Recycling Victoria targets. Over 80 per cent of the 1,000,000 tonnes of plastic packaging generated in Australia is business to consumer. This means that most plastic ends up in household waste and recycling bins. Excluding these materials from the mixed recyclables stream may make it difficult to develop viable local end markets.

Criteria for assessing what goes into the mixed recyclables stream

The criteria used to assess items for inclusion in the mixed recyclables stream are:

  • compatibility with current and planned sorting and/or processing infrastructure
  • ability to use recycled material
  • supporting the phase out and ban of single-use plastics, and
  • occupational health and safety risk.
Items requiring further analysis for the mixed recyclables stream include:
  • mixed or composite plastics
  • soft plastics
  • bottle lids
  • opaque plastics
  • plastic meat trays
  • coated paper and cardboard
  • shredded paper.

These items all face barriers to recycling at multiple points in the supply chain. Barriers include incompatibility with sorting machinery, low or no end market value, and limited end market applications.

Standard list for the mixed recyclables stream

We have developed draft lists of accepted and not accepted items for the mixed recyclables stream, as well as a list of items that require further analysis. These lists are available for download below. Please note that the draft lists are technical documents. We will work out how best to present this information simply and clearly once the lists are final.

Considerations for specific items in the mixed recyclables stream

Requiring further analysis

Household aerosol cans

Household aerosol cans are made from valuable metals that can be continually recycled. However, aerosol cans may contain pressurised, flammable material that can explode when compacted. There is limited data on fire incidents at recycling facilities caused by household aerosol cans. Currently, the majority of recycling facilities accept aerosol cans. Some facilities have advised that if empty, household aerosol cans pose a low occupational health and safety risk for waste workers. Aerosol cans used for hazardous materials should not be placed in the mixed recyclables stream. Instead, they should be disposed of via a chemicals collection service such as a Detox Your Home event.

Soft plastics

Soft plastics are light weight and can contaminate the paper stream. They cause problems with existing recycling sorting machinery. The material is low quality and value and has limited uses as a recycled material. Soft plastics can be made up from many different types of plastics, making them difficult to recycle and reuse. New recycling technologies (as described for other plastics above) may support the recovery of soft plastics through household recycling.

Plastic meat trays

Meat trays can be made of several different materials, but many have an extra layer of plastic different to the main meat tray. This is called a ‘composite item’ where multiple materials are joined together, which makes it challenging to recycle. Plastic is usually recycled by first separating out all the different types of plastic. Currently, the thin lining on the meat tray can’t be removed or separated. Meat trays are also sometimes coloured black, which prevents sorting machinery from detecting them during recycling.

Bottle lids

Small lids and closures are a major source of litter, but recycling of lids is difficult due to their small size. Loose lids and closures are too small to be correctly sorted and recycled. Some recycling facilities accept plastic bottles with lids reattached. Some lids can’t be reattached to the bottle (such as beer caps), and some plastic lids are incompatible to recycle at some facilities when reattached to their bottle.

Bottle pumps; spray nozzles

Recyclability of bottle pumps and spray nozzles depends on whether they are made from multiple material types. They may contain multiple types of plastic. Bottle pumps usually have a metal coil that allows the pump to spring back after use. Assessment of these items for inclusion or exclusion in the mixed recyclables stream will need to consider households’ ability to tell the difference between the many types of bottle closures and between the recyclability of a bottle and its closure.

Thermal paper; shredded paper

Thermal paper has black marks and can contaminate other paper. Because shredded paper is lightweight and small, it gets processed with other recyclable items, causing contamination. However, some recycling facilities have indicated they can accept these items. When assessing these items, their impact on the paper waste stream must be considered.

Waxed cardboard

Wax can’t be successfully removed during recycling with current infrastructure and technology. Waxed cardboard can be hard to differentiate from uncoated cardboard. Sustainability Victoria has reported that waxed cardboard boxes are the most common item by weight that is incorrectly recycled due to this similarity. If waxed cardboard is excluded from the mixed recyclables stream, additional work is required to identify potential alternative recovery pathways and to educate residents on how to properly dispose of it.

Polymer coated paperboard (e.g., long-life cartons, fresh cartons, coffee cups)

Some polymer coated paperboard (PCPB) products are already collected through household recycling. However, they are often either sorted to be sent overseas or recycled with non-coated paper, decreasing the quality of the paper stream. The difference in recyclability (in technical terms, pulpability) of these different types of products needs to be assessed, as well as alternative recovery options for coated paper products.

Plastics 3, 4, 6, and 7 (PVC, LDPE, PS, and Other); plastics coloured with carbon black

In Australia’s current recycling system, these waste plastics have very little to no value. There are few ways to use these recycled plastics. Plastics collected from households are more contaminated than industrial waste streams. Some of these plastics can also create problems in the sorting process during recycling by either not being detected by sorting machinery or contaminating other higher-value waste streams.

New technologies are being trialled to turn these plastics back into raw material that can be used to make new plastics. This would increase their value and uses.

Why do we need a FOGO stream?

Food and garden waste from homes and businesses makes up around 42 per cent of waste going to landfill. When food waste decays in a landfill, it releases greenhouse gases. Giving all Victorian households access to a food and garden waste stream could divert up to 650,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill each year and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with disposing of organic waste in landfill.

FOGO services currently in operation transport household FOGO to processing facilities where it becomes compost, mulch, and soil conditioners (compost products). The FOGO stream can also be used to make renewable biogas using a system called a digester.

What are the challenges for the FOGO stream?

FOGO presents processing and end market challenges. Current FOGO processing capacity is constrained because processing infrastructure in Victoria is limited. The Victorian Government is targeting investment in processing facilities. New facilities are already being commissioned, but it will take time to develop and build this processing capacity. The government is also working with industry to encourage development of new processed FOGO products and markets.

Processing operations at composting facilities across Victoria can differ depending on their size, technologies, the type of compost products they make, and the needs of the markets to which they sell.

Criteria for assessing what goes into the FOGO stream

The criteria used to assess items for inclusion in the household FOGO stream are:

  • impacts on resource recovery
  • compatibility with current and planned processing infrastructure
  • impacts on end markets
  • compostable plastics affected by the single-use plastics ban
  • ability of households to identify items, and
  • health, safety, and biosecurity.

Standard list for the FOGO stream

The draft list of accepted items includes a broad range of food and garden items as well as food-soiled, uncoated paper and cardboard. This includes fruit and vegetable scraps, grains, loose leaf tea, coffee grounds, dairy, meat, fish, cooked and raw bones, shellfish shells, lawn clippings, plants, small branches, brown paper lunch bags, pizza boxes, and uncoated cardboard food containers. Feathers, fur, hair, used paper towels and paper napkins, and shredded office paper are also proposed to be accepted. Once implemented, the draft list allows for use of certified compostable caddy liners, newspaper sheets and/or paper towels to line kitchen caddies or wrap food scraps.

The accepted, not accepted, and further analysis lists for the FOGO stream are available for download below. Please note that the draft lists are technical documents. We will work out how best to present this information simply and clearly once the lists are final.

Considerations for specific items in the FOGO stream

Proposed for inclusion

Certified compostable caddy liners

Certified compostable caddy liners are currently accepted by most Victorian councils that have FOGO services. They can make it easier for people to use the FOGO service, meaning more food scraps can be collected for composting. Households can use newspaper or paper towel to wrap food scraps and line caddies if preferred. They can also put accepted items in the FOGO stream without a lining or wrapping.

Caddy liners must be certified to the Australian Industrial Compostable (AS 4736) or Home Compostable (AS 5810) standard. If a caddy liner isn’t certified to one of these standards, its ability to break down at a compost facility can’t be verified. Many households aren’t used to looking for certification labels. They may put uncertified caddy liners or other bags in the FOGO stream by mistake. Community education will be required to support households to only use certified caddy liners.

Shredded paper

Shredded paper breaks down easily in compost because it is uncoated, thin, and cut into small pieces. Shredded office paper is tricky to recycle through the mixed recyclables stream. Accepting it in the FOGO stream means that less shredded paper will go to landfill.

Food-soiled, uncoated paper and cardboard

Most paper and cardboard should be recycled in the mixed recyclables stream. This allows it to be transformed into new paper/cardboard products. Paper and cardboard containing food isn’t suitable for mixed recyclables but can be composted. To break down in compost, paper and cardboard cannot have a plastic lining or coating. Items proposed for inclusion in the FOGO stream include brown paper lunch bags, pizza boxes, and uncoated cardboard food containers.

Including food-soiled paper and cardboard in the FOGO stream would require changes to some community education programs, as well as some compost facilities’ processes. Clear messaging will be required to support the community to identify food-soiled, uncoated items. Some facilities may need to change or introduce processes to effectively compost paper and cardboard (e.g., additional shredding, increasing moisture, and/or maturing compost for a longer period).

Requiring further analysis

Certified compostable packaging

Many products can be made of compostable plastics, including food and drink containers, bags, and postal satchels. Compostable plastics look like ordinary plastics. They can’t go in the mixed recyclables stream because they affect the quality of recycled plastics. Compostable packaging includes items made of fibre with a compostable lining or coating.

Only packaging that is certified to the Australian Industrial Compostable (AS 4736) or Home Compostable (AS 5810) standard is being analysed for inclusion in the FOGO stream. If a compostable product isn’t certified to one of these standards, its ability to break down at a compost facility can’t be verified.

Certified compostable plastic packaging can break down in compost if treated in specific ways and processed for a long time. Some Victorian facilities can process certified compostable plastics, while others cannot. Including certified compostable packaging in the FOGO stream would require significant changes to many facilities’ processes and timeframes.

Certified compostable items are difficult for people to identify. Inclusion of certified compostable packaging would require significant community education. Some products labelled ‘compostable’ are not certified. Others use misleading terminology such as ‘biodegradable’ and ‘plant-based’. Once these items are mixed with food and garden scraps at composting facilities, it’s impossible for operators to tell the difference between certified plastics, uncertified plastics, and ordinary plastics.

It is proposed that bioplastic (including certified compostable plastic) cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and cotton bud sticks are included in the single-use plastics ban commencing in February 2023. Items will be further defined and prescribed in regulations, which are expected to be finalised in mid-2022. Where items are included in the single-use plastics ban, they will not be accepted in any household recycling stream.

Wood and bamboo utensils

Unless finely ground, wood and bamboo utensils (such as wooden forks and bamboo chopsticks) don’t break down effectively in compost facilities. This means that they are likely to look like litter in compost products (unlike small branches) or be filtered out and sent to landfill. Most Victorian facilities do not have high-speed grinders, which would be required to reliably shred these items. Quantities of wood and bamboo utensils are currently small in comparison to other types of items in the FOGO stream. Shredding them is unlikely to justify the high cost of this equipment. However, quantities are expected to increase with the introduction of the single-use plastics ban.

Proposed for exclusion

Pet poo (animal faeces)

Because Victorian compost facilities operate differently, pet poo can be safely managed by some facilities, though not all. There is also a significant risk that some households will put pet poo in the food and garden bin in dog poo bags or with cat litter. Plastic bags and other soft plastics are extremely difficult to remove at facilities because they shred into tiny pieces that become spread through compost. Many types of cat litter cannot be composted.

Standard lists for the household rubbish stream will be developed following public consultation on the glass, FOGO, and mixed recyclables streams. The household rubbish list will be informed by criteria including:

  • items that can’t be accepted in the other three streams
  • alternative waste collection systems (such as for e-waste or toxic chemicals)
  • occupational health and safety risks.

The household rubbish list is not provided for comment now. It will be formally consulted on as part of the regulatory impact statement for service standards in 2022.

Setting state-wide standard lists has implications for existing council services, processing contracts, public information, and recycling behaviour in the community.

For example, the definition of standard lists is likely to flow through to the classification of contamination under these contracts, particularly where items change from ‘accepted’ to ‘not accepted’. This may have short-term cost impacts. We are working with councils and industry to understand and manage these implications, including the operations of contracts.

Standard lists will be reviewed periodically to consider items that could be recovered through the four-stream system in the future. The approach to reviewing and updating lists will be developed in the coming months. Review of the lists will aim to balance certainty and consistency for industry and the community with flexibility to respond to market, technological and other changes. In the short term, this can help manage implementation and transition issues.

The government and councils are aware that households will need support and time to adjust recycling behaviours.

Further work is required to scope the options for implementation. Implementation options will be part of a formal regulatory impact statement consultation process in 2022.

The four stream-system is not the only way people can recycle. Some common household items that are unsuitable for kerbside recycling, such as batteries, e-waste, and textiles, can be dropped off at designated council or other public drop-off points. There are other reforms under the Recycling Victoria banner which also further support effective recycling. These include:

  • the new community-based drink container deposit scheme (from 2023),
  • the ban on single-use plastic bags and certain single-use plastic items, and
  • mandatory sorting of common recyclable materials and organic waste by businesses.

Container deposit scheme

Drinks in disposable containers are often consumed away from home and then become litter. The Victorian Government is introducing a container deposit scheme to encourage people to recover and recycle drink cans, cartons, and bottles. The container deposit scheme, along with the four-stream system, means Victoria will receive cleaner material allowing higher quality recycling and more reuse.

Single-use plastics ban

From February 2023, single-use plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink-stirrers, and cotton bud sticks will be banned from sale or supply across Victoria. It is proposed that conventional, oxo-degradable and bioplastic (including compostable plastic) versions of these items are included in the ban. The statewide ban will also apply to expanded polystyrene food and drink containers. Items will be further defined and prescribed in regulations, which are expected to be finalised in mid-2022.

Mandatory business sorting

From 2025, businesses will be required to sort commonly recyclable materials and organic waste from unrecoverable wastes. The full requirements including who is to be covered and what materials will be specified is yet to be determined. This will be developed in consultation with businesses and analysed through a regulatory impact statement.

Australian Standard certified Home Compostable (AS 5810) plastics – plastic items that are proven to break down effectively in some types of home compost systems. Items that are certified Home Compostable are marked with the AS 5810 compost bin logo.

Australian Standard certified Industrial Compostable (AS 4736) plastics – plastics that are proven to break down effectively in some types of compost facilities. Items that are certified Industrial Compostable are marked with the AS 4736 seedling logo.

Biogas – a renewable energy source produced when food organics break down in a biogas digester.

Bioplastics – plastics made from biological materials, such as sugarcane and corn starch. Some bioplastics break down effectively in compost, while others do not.

Composite items – products made from multiple materials that have been joined together, which makes them challenging to recycle

Compost products – products made from food and garden organics that have broken down over time in a home compost or composting facility. Compost products are used to fertilise and improve soil and include compost, soil conditioners, and mulches.

Contamination of recycling – contamination happens when items are sorted into the wrong recycling bin (for example, if a drinking glass is put in the glass bin). Contamination can also happen when items are put in recycling bins with non-recyclable material (such as a pizza box covered in cheese).

Contamination rate – the percentage of material that people put in the wrong bin or put in the bin with non-recyclable material (such as food).

FOGO – food organics and garden organics.

Four-stream household waste and recycling system (four-stream system) – a waste and recycling system used at home to separate household waste items into four streams: glass, FOGO (food organics and garden organics), mixed recyclables, and household rubbish. Some people will have a household bin for some waste and recycling streams, and others will have access to a drop-off service. The four-stream system may also be described as the municipal waste and recycling services.

Glass – a bin or service with a purple lid used to collect glass bottles and jars for recycling. It may also be described as the glass recycling or glass recyclables bin.

FOGO – a bin or service with a green lid used to collect food and garden items (such as food scraps, branches, and lawn clippings) for compost products or biogas. It may also be described as the food and garden, food and garden organics, or organics bin.

Mixed recyclables – a bin or service with a yellow lid used to collect paper and cardboard, metal tins and cans, and plastic containers for recycling. It may also be described as the recycling or commingled recycling bin.

Household rubbish – a bin or service with a red lid used to collect some household waste items that cannot be recycled. It may also be described as the residual waste, garbage, or general rubbish bin. Household rubbish materials are taken to a landfill.

Landfill – A site for the disposal of household rubbish.

Oxo-degradable plastics – plastics that break into smaller and smaller pieces (microplastics), causing pollution.

Recycling – the sorting and processing of materials to make them into new items.

Recyclables – materials or items that can be recycled.

Regulatory impact statement – an assessment that the government uses to analyse how regulations will impact the community. This helps the government choose the best approach for achieving better community outcomes.

Standard lists – lists of items that can and cannot be placed in each of the household waste and recycling streams.

Privacy collection notice

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Victorian privacy laws. The views and information you provide will be used to inform government policy on standard lists for sorting waste and recycling and informing behaviour change education campaigns to support the roll out of kerbside reforms.

The information you provide will de-identified and consolidated. It may be shared with Sustainability Victoria, Environment Protection Authority, Waste and Resource Recovery Groups, and/or councils to inform government policy on standard lists for sorting waste and recycling and informing behaviour change education campaigns to support the roll out of kerbside reforms.

If there are specific proprietary processes that will influence policy-setting, please email kerbside.reform@delwp.vic.gov.au for a confidential discussion.

You may access the information you have provided to the department by contacting Julie Russ, at kerbside.reform@delwp.vic.gov.au