The Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan

The Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan (Metropolitan Implementation Plan) brings together statewide priorities set out in the Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan and applies them within the metropolitan context. This ensures our waste and resource recovery system is integrated and provides an essential community service.

The Metropolitan Implementation Plan’s objectives are to:

  • reduce waste sent to landfill
  • increase organic waste recovered
  • deliver community, environmental and economic benefits
  • plan for Melbourne’s growing population

For a brief overview of the plan please see the Snapshot of the Plan and refer to the key data, or to view the full plan please download the Metropolitan Implementation Plan (4.7Mb).

In developing the plan MWRRG drew on information, opinions and ideas from a range of stakeholders including the collective knowledge of our staff, our portfolio partners, industry representatives, local councils and the broader community.  Read more about how we developed the plan.

The final plan came into effect on 6 October 2016 and is now being put into action. The plan will be reviewed in 2019 and we will report annually on progress towards achieving the strategic objectives.

Documents to download


  • What are the main actions in the Metropolitan Implementation Plan? Expand Collapse

    Essentially the plan highlights the need to reduce waste sent to landfill, increase our organic waste recovery, deliver benefits for the community, environment and the economy, and plan for Melbourne’s growing population.

    The actions in the plan are to:

    1. Facilitate and establish new infrastructure that can recover resources from residual municipal waste through the re-tendering of MWRRG’s landfill services contracts.
    2. Create opportunities for aggregating priority commercial waste material streams and other place based recovery solutions.
    3. Support local government to progressively increase recovery of materials from municipal waste streams.
    4. Facilitate the growth of the metropolitan resource recovery centre/transfer station  network in order manage future waste volumes and increase resource recovery.
    5. Build the metropolitan organic recovery and processing network and maximise the network’s productivity by accepting household and commercial waste, and engaging and educating Melburnians.
    6. Encourage best practice operations for the resource recovery and waste network.
    7. Engage community and stakeholders in waste and resource recovery decision making.
    8. Support the implementation of best practice litter prevention programs.
    9. Identify the roles and functions of waste and resource recovery hubs across the metropolitan network.
    10. Facilitate appropriate land use planning protection of sites of strategic importance for metropolitan Melbourne’s waste and resource recovery systems.
    11. Facilitate and support aligning waste and recovery system needs with land planning and transport systems.
    12. Ensure the metropolitan network of landfills has sufficient capacity to accommodate an emergency or unexpected event (contingency capacity).
    13. Review the Metropolitan Implementation Plan in 2019 to assess whether new resource recovery infrastructure will be delivered within a ten year timeframe.

  • What is the difference between the Implementation Plan and the Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan? Expand Collapse

     Both the State Infrastructure Plan and Metropolitan Implementation Plan aim to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill and increase the amount of waste recycled.

    The State Infrastructure Plan provides Victoria with the long term vision and road map to guide future planning for waste and resource recovery infrastructure to achieve an integrated system.  

    The Metropolitan Implementation Plan is specific to the Melbourne metropolitan area. It describes the recycling, waste and landfill facilities that Melbourne needs over at least the next 10 years.

  • How was the Metropolitan Implementation Plan developed? Expand Collapse

    The plan was developed in close collaboration with Sustainability Victoria, EPA Victoria, and the Department of Environment Land, Water and Planning.

    Developing the plan included a market assessment process to gather proposals from industry for the future management and recovery of Melbourne’s waste, and a public consultation process. Read more

  • Why aren’t you proposing any new landfills for Melbourne? Expand Collapse

    MWRRG’s aim is reduce the need to schedule any new landfills by increasing the recovery of valuable resources from the things we throw away. We will do this by working with local government and industry to collectively tender for new alternative technologies that can process waste into useful products.

    Ten landfills are expected to close during the next ten years, with 16 in total closing over the 30 year life of this plan. This leaves four significant landfills that can accept putrescible waste and one that can only accept prescribed industrial waste to meet Melbourne’s needs.

    These landfills are of state importance, providing critical community infrastructure for metropolitan Melbourne.

  • With many landfills closing in the south east, will more pressure be put on landfills in the north and west of Melbourne? Expand Collapse

    We are working to significantly boost recycling and only send the absolute minimum amount of waste to landfill.

    We will work with councils to replace existing landfill contracts with resource recovery alternatives. Our first priority to build a facility in the south east to reduce the need for waste to go to the north and west. It’s important to remember that not all landfills in the south east are closing soon.

    We recognise some communities living near existing landfills can be impacted by amenity issues such as odour, dust, traffic, and noise. And we know some people would prefer existing landfills to close.

    The Metropolitan Implementation Plan has actions to improve the amenity for communities living near to existing landfills, These include:

    • a big focus on diverting municipal and commercial food and garden waste away from the landfill. Recent investigations revealed 42% of all material landfilled in Melbourne is food and garden waste, so building the organics recovery network will divert more of this waste from landfill, reducing risks of odour and leachate issues
    • encouraging that all waste and resource recovery facilities will operate at best practice. MWRRG will encourage that this be built into collective procurement contracts and MWRRG will work with industry and government partners to instil a culture of continuous improvement.

    But some level of landfilling will still be required. And the existing landfills in the north west and south east of metropolitan Melbourne are critical to ensuring the liveability of the whole metropolitan Melbourne region – to all households, business and community organisations (as we all produce waste).

    We will assess the need for new landfill capacity in 2019 and only if new landfill is absolutely necessary, will we schedule new landfill.

  • Why aren’t you planning a landfill in the south east? Expand Collapse

    We don’t think new landfills are the best answer. New recycling infrastructure is a better solution. We want to recover and treat as much waste as we can so that we don’t need new landfills.

    Instead, we want to work with councils to replace existing landfill contracts with resource recovery alternatives. This will provide an alternative to landfilling, and our first priority will be to explore options for a new facility in the south east. We’ll work with the community as we explore these options.

  • Why is the Ravenhall landfill included in the plan? Expand Collapse

    The Ravenhall landfill is a significant facility for Melbourne.

    If this site does not continue operating in the medium term, Melbourne is at risk of not having enough landfill capacity to manage waste.

    We are mindful this is growth area, so MWRRG is working to protect the buffer separation distances around the landfill.

    MWRRG is also working to divert as much food and green waste from the landfill as possible, as these materials breakdown to produce odour and leachate which must be managed.

  • How is planning for the Ravenhall site being impacted by the Mt Atkinson and Tarneit Precinct Structure Planning? Expand Collapse

    Planning at the Ravenhall site is informing the zoning and future development of land in the adjoining Mt Atkinson and Tarneit Precinct Structure plan area.

    The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA), in consultation with relevant government agencies, has developed a draft Future Urban Structure plan for the Mt Atkinson and Tarneit Plains growth areas.

    In this draft, MPA has proposed industrial and commercial development along the western border of the Ravenhall site to ensure sensitive urban land uses are not located within the site’s buffer area.

  • Does the plan include alternative technologies, as used in Europe and Asia? Expand Collapse

    Yes, although we currently recycle around 73% of all waste, we do need to now look at alternative technologies. This draft plan proposes establishing these facilities instead of building new landfills.

  • What is the time frame for new technology to manage Melbourne’s waste to come on line? Expand Collapse

    It will take time to allow the resource recovery sector to invest and build new infrastructure, as well as to go through the thorough planning and works approval processes to safeguard the health and amenity of the surrounding communities and environment.

    It is expected that new infrastructure will be delivered within a 10 year time frame and MWRRG will review the Metropolitan Implementation Plan in 2019 to assess whether this will occur.

    In the meantime there will be a focus on increasing the recovery of food and garden waste from homes and businesses and diverting this to existing organics processing facilities as well as new facilities that are due to come on line.

  • Does the plan include getting people to recycle more? Expand Collapse

    Yes, we will help councils to divert more of the waste that is collected in households residual bin (including food and garden waste) and we will be supporting the Victorian Waste Education Strategy to encourage householders and businesses to actively separate waste and use recycling better.

  • What about avoiding waste in the first place – does the plan encourage this? Expand Collapse

    The plan supports encouraging waste avoidance through the Victorian Waste Education Strategy. This strategy has a focus on food waste avoidance, as around 40% of what households throw away is food waste.

    MWRRG will work with Sustainability Victoria to implement and achieve the objectives of the Victorian Waste Education Strategy. The strategy complements the plan’s actions to establish new recycling infrastructure and to reduce environmental and community impacts of organics in landfill.

  • What is a hub? Expand Collapse

    A waste and resource recovery hub is a facility, or group of facilities, that manage or recover waste or materials. An ideal hub has appropriate buffer zones, well established feeding spokes and good access to transport networks, has close proximity to complementary activities, has minimised community, environmental and public health impacts and contributes to the local and state economy.

    The State Infrastructure Plan identifies 14 existing waste and resource recovery hubs of state importance in Melbourne. To see where these hubs are and to learn more please see page 63 of the Metropolitan Implementation Plan.

Last updated: 20/05/2020