Waste and recycling in multi-unit developments

Aerial wide view of the city of Melbourne in early morning light

There has been significant growth in multi-unit developments (MUDs), mainly in the CBD and inner Melbourne but also in regional Victoria, with almost 12 percent of dwellings now apartments.

With the growth in new apartment buildings comes the opportunity to be more sustainable with waste and recycling systems.

Emerging waste streams, such as organics and e-waste, also creates new considerations in the design and function of buildings.

Better Practice Guide for Waste Management and Recycling in Multi-unit Developments

Sustainability Victoria has developed the Guide to Better Practice for Waste Management and Recycling in Multi-unit Developments to improve waste management practices and increase recycling in MUDs.

Better practice management of waste and materials in MUDs establishes the design, services and infrastructure that enable garbage, recycling, organics, e-waste and other hard waste to be managed in a way that increases resource recovery.

The guide has been developed as a stand-alone resource to assist architects, building designers, developers, building managers, planners and waste management officers to incorporate effective waste management and recycling systems into all stages of a development’s life.

The guide provides information about how to store, collect, recycle or dispose of all waste streams including:

  • Organics
  • Recyclables
  • E-waste
  • Hard waste
  • Residual waste (garbage)

This guidance also supports the Better Apartments Design Standards introduced by the Victorian Department of Environment Land, Water and Planning to improve the liveability and sustainability of apartments across Victoria.

Online calculator – multi-unit and commercial development waste and recycling generation rates

The calculator complements the Guide to Better Practice for Waste Management and Recycling in Multi-unit Developments and will help with estimating the number of garbage and recycling bins, and other infrastructure required for multi-unit and mixed use commercial developments.

Open the calculator

Guidance for local councils

The Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) has developed a toolkit to assist local councils to adopt and implement waste management planning considerations for multi-unit developments 3 storeys and below into their planning approvals process.

For more information, visit the Multi-unit developments toolkit page on the MWRRG website.

Download the resources

At a glance - Better Practice Guide for Waste Management and Recycling in Multi-unit Developments

A summary version of the guide to effectively incorporate waste management and recycling in multi-unit developments.

Better Practice Guide for Waste Management and Recycling in Multi-unit Developments

A stand-alone resource providing guidance for architects, building designers, developers, building managers, residents, planners and waste management officers to effectively incorporate waste management and recycling in multi-unit developments.

MUDs Waste Management Plan checklist

Checklist for preparing waste management plans.

MUDs Waste Management Plan template

Template for preparing waste management plans. This should be used in accordance with the Appendices contained in the Guide to Better Practice for Waste Management and Recycling in Multi-unit Developments.

Cover - Better Apartments Design Standards

Better Apartments Design Standards

Government design standards to improve the liveability and sustainability of apartments across Victoria.

Want to know more? Get in touch with:

Waste Management and Recycling in Multi-unit Developments

muds@sustainability.vic.gov.au