Collaboration improving waste outcomes at City of Greater Dandenong

Open communication between staff and councillors has led to better waste and recycling outcomes at the City of Greater Dandenong (CGD), Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum (Forum) delegates heard last month.

Phil Robertson, the council’s Service Unit Leader Parks and Waste, explained how their waste team induct new Forum delegates and provide an overview of council waste services and the waste industry. The team regularly brief councillors and meet after Forum events to reflect on key outcomes.

CGD’s 2021 Forum delegate Cr Rhonda Garad said that as a new councillor with little knowledge of the waste sector, Phil’s approach has been an engaging and effective way for her to learn about waste and recycling.

“The waste sector can be overwhelming… but the team has taken me by the hand and made it incredibly interesting and easy for me,” Cr Garad said.

“Residents are interested in waste, and it’s good to be able to give informed answers to their questions,” she said.

As well as the induction and briefings, the team creates factsheets on topical issues and has taken councillors on local, national, and international waste tours.

Phil said he enjoys building good relationships with councillors. A culture of open communication often means that simple issues can be easily resolved over the phone or by email, he said.

And his advice to others on building a strong relationship between council staff and councillors?

“Don’t assume that everyone knows everything, we can get too close to what we do. We need to take people on the journey with us.”

Photo: Cr Rhonda Garad and Phil Robertson visit an organics processing facility. 

 

Last updated: 07/06/2021