Big changes to BEN rules in Melbourne


Millions of Victorians will soon have to sort their waste into four separate bins in an overhaul of the state’s recycling system.

The initiative will cost the state $515 million with residents to transition to using four boxes, including just a new glass-lilac box, by 2030.

In 2021, the boxes will be introduced in areas across the regional suburbs of Victoria and Outer Melbourne with plans to eventually include every household.

Residents in those thirteen councils were used to pilot the scheme, which officials have described as the first comprehensive recycling reform of its kind in Australia.

The purple container will be used for the glass in addition to the red, yellow, and green chests.

Some residents in Victoria are already separating their waste into four bins with the latest addition, the purple top (right) to be used for glass only to avoid contamination.

Some residents in Victoria are already separating their waste into four bins with the latest addition, the purple top (right) to be used for glass only to avoid contamination.

The initiative will cost the state government $515 million with residents to transition to using four funds, including a new purple box, by 2030 (Pictured, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews)

The initiative will cost the state government $515 million with residents to transition to using four funds, including a new purple box, by 2030 (Pictured, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews)

Soft plastic, casings and soiled food containers can be placed in the yellow container, as residents have to take some plastics to supermarkets for recycling.

The green FOGO container (Food Organics Garden Organics) is used for organic waste, while the red container is for general household waste.

Victoria’s environment minister, Lilly D’Ambrosio, said Victoria was the first state in Australia to attempt a major recycling overhaul.

“We are the first state in Australia to introduce the same boxes to every household, and the first state to include soft plastic and pizza boxes in these boxes,” she said.

NSW typically separates its waste into composting (left), recycling and landfill (right)

NSW typically separates its waste into composting (left), recycling and landfill (right)

Ms D’Ambrosio said last year that the Circular Economy (Waste Reduction and Recycling) Act would clarify Victoria’s recycling sector.

“ For far too long we’ve had a sector that’s been cut off from each other, and it’s very disjointed, with a whole bunch of different rules that exist across a whole bunch of different municipalities, which makes it really hard for Victorians who want to do the right thing in terms of recycling “.

Ms D’Amboriso said the new system would save 650,000 tons of organic waste from entering landfill, boost Victoria’s economy by up to $6.7 billion by 2030 and create nearly 4,000 jobs.

Frankston, in the southern suburbs of Melbourne, is next on the list to join the container deposit system and will receive the new purple boxes in 2023.

Australian states and territories use different systems for allocating litter boxes.

Western Australians have three bin systems to choose from, with several choosing red (waste), yellow (recyclable) and green (plant matter) - the fourth bin hanging for many purely organic waste

Western Australians have three bin systems to choose from, with several choosing red (waste), yellow (recyclable) and green (plant matter) – the fourth bin hanging for many purely organic waste

In NSW, most homes are given a general waste bin (red lid), a recycling bin (yellow lid) and a garden plant bin (green lid).

Some households may also have a chestnut lidded bin for leftovers, for residents of the Inland West Council and Sydney City areas.

In Queensland, residents are encouraged to divide their bins into general waste, recycling and garden waste.

Last November, the Sunshine State began a 12-month trial of green organic waste bins in three councils — Townsville City Council, Rockhampton Regional Council and Locker Valley Regional Council.

South Australia operates a three-bin system, with a red bin for general waste, a yellow bin for recyclables, and a green bin for items such as food scraps, paper towels, tissue paper and garden scraps.

Tasmanians have successfully implemented organic waste bins alongside a standard household litter box that has either a red, dark green or black lid, and a classic yellow-lid container for recyclables.

All homes in Victoria will have to sort their waste into four separate bins by 2030, under new laws to be submitted to the state parliament (a stock image of people collecting rubbish)

All homes in Victoria will have to sort their waste into four separate bins by 2030, under new laws to be submitted to the state parliament (a stock image of people collecting rubbish)

In the ACT, most homes feature a standard 140-liter litter box with a red lid and a 240-liter yellow-lid recycling bin. Residents can apply for a green container for organic waste for a one-time registration fee of $50.

Western Australian families usually have three fund systems to choose from. The two-box system sees residents allocating one yellow bin for recyclables and one red bin for general waste.

Instead, a three-box organics (GO) system sees residents get an additional green-lid container for plant matter. Locals can opt for a three-box, organic garden (FOGO) diet. The main difference is that the green container can also handle food scraps and paper products.

The upper end works using the two-box model. Residents can divide their waste between two bins – a red lidded bin for general waste and a yellow lidded bin for recycling.


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