In 2016–17, Victorians generated and managed nearly 12.9 million tonnes of waste. Metropolitan Melbourne accounted for around 80 per cent of this. Sustainability Victoria (SV) estimates that Victorians recovered 67 per cent of the 12.9 million tonnes for recycling and sent the remaining 33 per cent to landfill.
Community participation in the recycling process is a vital part of the state’s waste system. To invest their time in separating bottles, papers and other recyclables, Victorians need confidence that these materials are properly recycled. The Chinese government's decision to significantly restrict its importation of recyclables under the Chinese Sword policy has significantly affected the recycling industry and led to a significant decline in Victorian waste exports.
This audit examined whether responsible agencies are providing strategic direction, support and effective regulation in order to maximise the recovery and reprocessing of resources from Victoria's waste streams.
The audit included the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG), SV, Banyule City Council and the City of Monash Council.
We made six recommendations for DELWP, eight for SV, four for EPA, and four for MWRRG.