Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

For a printable version of the FAQs click here

If I have questions/comments/feedback where do I go to find out more or have my say?

Further details about the plan are on NEWRRG’s website: www.newrrg.vic.gov.au

You can also make a submission, leave feedback, or request a hard copy of the draft north east implementation plan by visiting the NEWRRG website.

NEWRRG will be running 7 public information sessions at ‘open house events’ in each local government area in the region during the month of May 2016.  Further details about these sessions will be advertised in all regional papers.

What is the difference between NEWRRG and Councils in terms of waste management and recycling?

NEWRRG is a State Government agency that works with local government, industry and community to coordinate strategic waste and resource recovery planning needs across the region.

Local government is responsible for delivering services in their local area.  NEWRRG works as a channel between state and local government and, where there are benefits, assists with coordination between local councils and alpine resorts within the region.  NEWRRG delivers projects on behalf of local government and alpine resorts with a regional focus (to 3 or more local government or alpine resort areas).

What will change in the region because of the plan?

  • Resource recovery centers in the regions will be able to recycle more things
  • There will be improvements local resource recovery centres over the coming years. These improvements may include better and bigger areas for sorting and storing of materials for recycling
  • A more practical approach taken to the management of the region’s waste and opportunities for partnerships will be identified.
  • Councils and alpine resorts working more efficiently and sharing local waste and recycling information with the state government which will benefit the community by helping shape policy, planning and future programs.

If everything is ok in our region why do we need to do this for?

At the rate of projected population growth in Victoria over the next 30 years existing waste management infrastructure will not be able to cope with the expected increase in waste volumes.  Currently 34% of the north east’s waste is still being landfilled.  We can do better, and need to plan for future growth.  Some of the reasons for the north east implementation are:

  • inadequate information to support planning and investment decisions that balance waste and resource recovery needs with community growth and increasing waste generation
  • materials of value are still being landfilled
  • material volumes are not attracting industry investment
  • there are limited markets for recovered materials or products
  • not all landfills meet environmental standards, there are increasing costs to meet environmental standards for landfills
  • not all waste and resource recovery facilities are meeting best practice standards

What is the Statewide Infrastructure plan and how does this plan fit into it?

A Statewide Infrastructure Plan was released by the Victorian Government in June 2015.  It provides the roadmap to ensure Victoria has the infrastructure to effectively manage waste and resource recovery for the next 30 years.

Each of the 7 regional Waste and Resource Recovery Groups in Victoria are responsible for setting out how the waste and resource recovery infrastructure needs of each of their regions will be met over 10 years.  When completed, these plans will be integrated into the Statewide Infrastructure Plan to form a whole strategic approach, ensuring that Victoria has a first class integrated waste and resource recovery (recycling) system.

Are there opportunities for the infrastructure schedule to be reviewed?

An opportunity for new proposals to be considered will arise in 3-5 years when the regional waste and resource recovery implementation plans are infrastructure schedules are reviewed.

What is the infrastructure schedule?

The schedule lists existing or proposed facilities but not reflect whether appropriate operational practices are maintained or whether works and planning approvals are in place.

This infrastructure schedule identifies the gaps in the infrastructure required to meet the strategic directions for the region based on the current status, constraints, and future needs and opportunities.  The schedule consists of two parts:

  • Resource Recovery Infrastructure
  • Landfill infrastructure

Does the north east region need new landfills in the next 10 years?

No, through the modelling process of existing available airspace and current and projected resource recovery and expected waste volumes, it was determined that additional landfills were not required for the north east region.  The region does not require any new landfills in the next 20 years.

What is airspace?

Landfill airspace can be defined as the volume of space on a landfill site which is constructed for the disposal of solid waste.

What is landfill?

A landfill is a carefully constructed ‘airspace’ (or hole) in the ground to store waste.  Landfills in Victoria have very strict licensing and regulatory arrangements in order to protect community health and the environment.

What are materials?

Materials in context of waste and recycling are different types of product categories. For example: plastics, timber, garden waste, metals, glass etc.

What is resource recovery?

The processes of recovering unwanted materials for reprocessing to be recycled, instead of being sent to landfill.

What is meant by waste?

Anything that is no longer valued by its owner for use or sale and which is, or will be, discarded. In this document, the term ‘solid waste’ refers to non-hazardous, non-prescribed, solid waste materials ranging from municipal garbage to industrial waste.

What are the main aims of the plan?

The 5 broad aims for the north east region are to:

  1. Improve recycling
  2. Increase the efficiencies and cost effectiveness of recycling
  3. Increase the performance and safety of waste and recycling infrastructure
  4. Develop a long term strategy for landfill

Improve data collection so better decisions can be made

What is the purpose of the north east implementation plan?

The purpose of the north east implementation plan is to identify local waste and resource recovery (recycling) infrastructure (facilities and equipment) needs and plan for how these needs will be met over the next 10 years for the region. The plan has five main aims for the region and within these specific actions to be achieved in the next 10 years.

What does FOGO mean?

FOGO is an acronym for: food organics garden organics.  Food organics from households or industry includes: food processing waste, out-of-date or off-specification food, meat, fruit and vegetable scraps. It excludes liquid wastes. Garden organics includes: organics derived from garden sources, for example, grass clippings, tree prunings.  Sometimes garden organics is also known as green organics.

What is a dirty MRF?

A ‘dirty MRF’ accepts and processes a mixed solid waste stream and then proceeds to separate out recyclable materials through a combination of manual and mechanical sorting.

What is a MRF?

A MRF is a: materials recovery facility, materials reclamation facility, materials recycling facility or multi re-use facility.  MRF – pronounced “murf” is a specialized plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials for marketing to end-user manufacturers.

Is waste an essential service?

Yes.  An essential service can be defined as a service that is recognised as a basic right for the community. Any failure to deliver this service results in risks to the community.

Victoria’s waste and resource recovery system provides the essential services to manage Victoria’s waste. If these streams are not managed properly they can cause a range of issues including odours, dust, noise, generation of leachate which can contaminate ground water, soil contamination and the generation of greenhouse gases, which impact the community and environment.

Who is the North East Waste & Resource Recovery Group (NEWWRG) and what do they do?

The North East Waste and Resource Recovery Group (NEWRRG) is one of seven statutory Waste and Resource Recovery Groups in Victoria. The north east region represents 7 Councils and 3 Alpine Resorts.

NEWRRG is responsible for planning and facilitating the development of waste and resource recovery services across the north east region.   One of NEWRRG’s main responsibilities has been developing the implementation plan for the north east region.

The Waste and Resource Recovery Groups were established under Section 49C of the Victorian Environment Protection Act 1970.

Who has been consulted in the writing of the north east implementation plan?

The north east implementation plan has been prepared by the North East Waste Resource Group (NEWRRG) with the of help of its stakeholders which includes local government, alpine resorts and industry in planning to meet the waste and recycling needs of the region into the future.  It is now the community’s turn to have their say.

What is meant by infrastructure?

Infrastructure in context of waste and resource recovery (recycling) means facilities, services and equipment relating to the sorting, storing, transport and reprocessing of materials.  This could include, but is not limited to things like: sheds, cages, skips, concrete pads, forklifts, balers, front-end-loaders, bin enclosures etc.

What is the North East Waste & Resource Recovery Implementation Plan?

The North East Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan (north east implementation plan) is a 10 year strategy to ensure the region has a practical and effective waste and resource recovery (recycling) network.