Millions of Victorians will soon have to sort their garbage into four separate bins in a major overhaul of the state’s recycling system.
The initiative will cost the state government $515 million with residents to switch to using four bins by 2030, including a new purple one for glass only.
By 2021, the bins were introduced in seven suburban areas of Victoria and Melbourne, with plans to eventually include every household.
Residents in those 13 municipalities were used to try out the plan, which officials are touting as the first recycling overhaul of its kind in Australia.
In addition to the red, yellow and green containers, the purple container is used for glass.
Some residents in Victoria already separate their waste into four bins with the latest addition being the purple top (right) used only for glass to avoid contamination
The initiative will cost the state government $515 million with residents to switch to using four bins by 2030, including a new purple one (photo, Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews)
Soft plastic, wrappers and dirty food containers can be put in the yellow bin, with residents having to take some plastics to supermarkets for recycling.
The green FOGO bin (Food Organics Garden Organics) is used for organic waste, while the red bin is used for general household waste.
Victoria’s environment minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, said Victoria was the first state in Australia to attempt a major overhaul of recycling.
“We are the first state in Australia to roll out the same bins for every household, and the first to put soft plastics and pizza boxes in those bins,” she said.
NSW typically separates its waste into compost (left), recycling and landfill (right)
Ms D’Ambrosio said last year that the circular economy (waste reduction and recycling) bill would bring clarity to Victoria’s recycling sector.
“For too long we’ve had an industry that’s desegregated, that’s very disjointed, with a whole bunch of different rules that exist in a whole bunch of different municipalities, making it very difficult for Victorians who want to do the right thing in terms of recycling, ‘ she said.
Ms D’Amboriso said the new system would save 650,000 tons of organic waste from landfills, boost Victoria’s economy 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 participate in the container deposit system and will receive the new purple bins in 2023.
Australia’s states and territories all use different systems to allocate trash cans.
Residents of Western Australia have three bins to choose from, with many choosing red (waste), yellow (recyclable material) and green (plant material) – a fourth bin is pending for many, purely for organic waste
In NSW, most households are provided with a general waste bin (red lid), waste bin (yellow lid) and garden vegetation bin (green lid).
Some households may also have a maroon lidded bin for food scraps for residents in the Inner West and City of Sydney council areas.
In Queensland residents are encouraged to divide their bins into general waste, recycling and yard waste.
Last November, the Sunshine State began a 12-month trial of green organic waste bins in three municipalities: Townsville City Council, Rockhampton Regional Council and Lockyer Valley Regional Council.
South Australia operates on 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, tissues and yard waste.
Tasmanians have successfully implemented the organic waste bins along with the standard household bin with a red, dark green or black lid and a classic bin with yellow lid for recyclable material.
All Victorian households will have to sort their waste into four separate bins by 2030, under new laws to be introduced to the state parliament (stock image of people collecting waste)
In the ACT, most homes have a standard 140 liter trash can with a red lid and a 240 liter trash can with a yellow lid. Residents can request a green bin for organic waste for a one-time registration fee of $50.
Typically, WA households have three bin systems to choose from. In the two-bin system, residents are assigned a yellow bin for recyclable materials and a red bin for general waste.
Alternatively, the three-bin garden organic (GO) system provides residents with an additional green-lidded container for plant matter. Locals can opt for a three-bin food organics, garden organics (FOGO) system. The main difference is that the green bin can also handle food scraps and paper products.
The Top End works with the two-bin model. Residents can divide their waste into two bins: one with a red lid for general waste and one with a yellow lid for recycling.