In Victoria, 54 of 79 local governments offer household garden organics collection services that cover 68 per cent of Victorian households. The majority of councils that do not offer a kerbside garden organics service are based in regional areas where such a service would be either unnecessary or economically unviable.
In 2015–16 the amount of garden organics collected by local governments via household kerbside collections services was 393,727 tonnes (equivalent to 290kg per household or 65kg per person). This figure increased by 3.0 per cent or 12,000 tonnes from 2014–15 (382,212 tonnes).
Of the total amount collected, almost 100 per cent was processed – less than 1 per cent was not and this is likely sent to landfill or burnt due to contamination or limited access opportunities to a garden organics processing facility.
Figure 1 shows that since the Victorian Local Government Annual Waste Services Report began in 2001–02, household garden organics collection has more than tripled. During this time, there has been an expansion of the three bin system to a small bin for garbage, one large bin for recyclables and another large bin for garden organics. As a result, this has encouraged households to divert garden organics from landfill.
Quantities collected over the five years prior to 2009–10 remained relatively stable. This can be attributed largely to the prevailing drought conditions in Victoria and the watering restrictions enforced in many parts of the state at that time.
The large increase in 2010–11 can be attributed to the drought coming to an end and the introduction by state government in 2009 that saw residents in bushfire prone areas able to clear trees within 10 metres and shrubs within 30 metres of their homes without a permit.
Figure 1: Green organics tonnes collected, Victoria 2001–02 to 2015–16
Cost and geography
In 2015–16 the cost of local governments to provide a garden organics collection service was $69 million (equivalent to $51.00 per household or $11.42 per person). This is an increase of $5.9 million or 9.3 per cent since 2014–15 ($63 million). This increase can be partly explained by additional services undertaken by local governments and a CPI increase of 1 per cent since 2014–15.
Non-metropolitan councils spent on average 7 per cent or $3.63 more per household for a garden organics collection than Metropolitan councils while yielding slightly more material – 294kg per household as opposed to Metropolitan councils which yielded 289kg on average.
Bin collection system
Table 1 shows the range and frequency of bins used for green organic collections. The predominant bin used by Victorian local governments is the 240L bin, accounting for 42 (64 per cent) of all garden organics collection services provided.
Table 1: Garden organics bin systems, Victoria 2015–16