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DIVERTING waste from landfill, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a circular economy are among the main focuses of a draft Mitchell Shire Council waste policy out now for community consultation.

Council’s draft Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 is an eight-year plan to improve waste services and infrastructure across the shire, prioritising waste avoidance and reduction in a bid to reduce the amount of waste in landfill.

A circular economy is another focus of the draft strategy, encouraging the recovery and circulation rather than disposal of resources.

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At last week’s council meeting, Cr Louise Bannister said waste disposal was ‘one of the most important aspects of our society’ and encouraged as many people as possible to make submissions on the draft strategy.

“This strategy encapsulates some important aspects such as … working together as local government, State Government and Federal Government, businesses and most importantly community,” she said.

“It highlights the cost of waste to our community and opportunities for re-use and greater equality of waste removal in our shire.

“It addresses some of the pressing issues our community has raised during previous community consultation, including green waste and hard waste removals, as well as a reduction in the use of plastics and greater education in the community to help us all save money on waste while supporting the environment.”

Cr Nathan Clark said separate collections for food waste and organic waste, FOGO, would play a key part in the strategy.

“[In the document] there’s a graph that shows our two bins side by side and there’s a breakdown of what we’re actually putting into our bins,” he said.

“There is a huge amount of organics that would benefit from going into a FOGO bin. If we’ve got it going into FOGO, we can render that down and even turn it into a saleable product.

“It means we’ve got less going into landfill, and our ultimate goal is to have nothing going into landfill. That would be a marvellous result.”

Cr David Lowe said it was important for council to keep pace with changes to State Government requirements for waste management.

“The landscape of waste collection services and waste storage and management is changing drastically throughout Victoria,” he said.

Cr Rhonda Sanderson said council had achieved nearly all of the actions set out in its expiring 2016-21 waste management strategy, giving a strong indication that the 2030 strategy would be a success.

“I’d urge all community members to have their say. These things pop up on Facebook and everyone makes a comment there, but if you genuinely want to have a say, go to the website and there is a short survey you can complete there or you can make a more detailed submission, or you can phone our environment and sustainability team,” she said.

People can view and submit feedback on the draft waste strategy at engagingmitchellshire.com/waste-strategy-2030.

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