A boost for circularity in Seymour

Published: 24 May 2023

Mitchell Shire is aiming to divert 80% of waste from landfill by 2030 and their new resource recovery centre will help make that goal a reality.

Opening next week, the $8 million facility in Seymour has been designed to make it easier to recycle domestic hard waste, reflecting the council’s priorities of reuse and recovery as we transition to a circular economy.

Mitchell Shire’s Environment and Sustainability Manager Narelle Liepa says the new centre will help change the way people perceive waste disposal.

“It's traditionally been out of sight, out of mind,” Narelle says.

“Transfer stations are seen as smelly, dirty places and if you visit our new centre you'll see that's not the case.

“It's been designed to be a really clean, interactive, and organised site, incorporating better-practice initiatives to both protect the environment and educate people as they drive through the facility.”
Narelle Liepa, Environment and Sustainability Manager at Mitchell Shire
Different section of waste drop offs.

Supported by grants from Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government through the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund and an E-Waste Infrastructure Grant, the drive-through centre spans two levels with specific areas for different categories of waste.

On the ground floor, householders can drop off recyclable items like e-waste, mattresses, white goods and tyres, while the upper deck is for metal, cardboard and green waste.

Narelle says the layout of the centre follows the waste hierarchy.

“We’re encouraging people to sort their load and drop off their recyclable items as they travel around the site,” Narelle says.

Multiple drop off points. On-site signage features colours that correspond to different waste streams, such as yellow for recycling or green for organics.

“The centre is also fully enclosed to minimise the risk of odour or litter leaving the site, with an open canopy in the centre to allow a garden to be established and sunlight and fresh air to come through.”

Education has been an important consideration for the design of the new Seymour Resource Recovery Centre to teach locals and visitors about the value of waste.

In addition to educational materials installed around the site, the centre also has a classroom for both school students and community groups.

“We’ll be running workshops and tours about the waste hierarchy, circular economy and our transition to a four-bin system in 2025,” Narelle says.

4 waste bins, from left to right: Purple, red, yellow and green

“We see this as a great opportunity to educate people about how to recycle correctly and how to minimise waste in their daily lives.”

The Seymour Resource Recovery Centre features a purpose-built, on-site reuse shop for household items that have been dropped off but are still in good condition.

Narelle says they’re also hoping to start a repair café so broken items can be fixed and given a second life.

Outdoor rainwater harvesting system.

Importantly, the centre was built using sustainable construction practices and is energy-positive, with a 50kw solar system on the roof, energy-efficient lighting, and a rainwater harvesting system for all the site’s water needs.

Furniture and artwork in the education space and meeting room have been made from recycled materials like mixed plastics from kerbside bins, foam offcuts and reclaimed wood.

Mitchell Shire Mayor Councillor Fiona Stevens says the Seymour Resource Recovery Centre is vital to meet the existing and future waste management demand of the shire’s growing population.

“The Mitchell community has told us that reducing our environmental impact is important,” Cr Stevens says.

“This centre will help us prioritise resource recovery and encourage better reuse of products and items to help build a sustainable future and support a local circular economy.

“Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill is something we need to do together, with both council and residents playing their part. A facility like we now have here in Seymour makes it easier for all of us to do our bit.”
Fiona Stevens, Mitchell Shire Mayor Councillor