Local government waste forum legacy: collaboration, networking and education

From the single use plastics ban, to the introduction of the China Sword policy and new food waste recycling services the Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum (Forum) has seen a lot of change in the sector in its time.

For over 16 years, the Forum has been the trusted voice of local government, providing policy and strategic advice, leadership and an avenue for education, engagement and collaboration.

During its finale event last week, delegates reflected on how the strong networks fostered by the Forum allowed councils to share their best ideas and projects with each other. The Forum has provided a regular and ongoing platform for collaboration between councillors; councillors and council officers; and officers with each other.

During the panel discussion, panellists agreed that the Forum kept local government up to date with developments in the sector and provided opportunities to learn from each other. Panellists, Yarra Ranges Mayor Cr Jim Child, Yarra City Council’s Senior Circular Economy Advisor Lisa Coffa, and MWRRG Board Director, Cr Colin Ross and Manager Infrastructure Services, Misty Johannsen both from Cardinia Shire Council said the Forum helped to share knowledge and resources.

Panel members cited education and enforcement approaches to illegal dumping, resources for multi-unit development waste and recycling, and recycling supply chains as areas the Forum had helped their councils with.

While the event had a strong focus on recognising the contribution of individuals and councils to the Forum, celebrating its success and reminiscing about its history, it was also focused on the future and how councils could build on the foundation of the Forum and the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group to ensure the success of Recycling Victoria.

The Forum heard from the Recycling Victoria Interim Head, Phil D'Adamo about the transition currently underway to form the new business unit, which will strengthen Victoria's recycling system towards a circular economy.

Cr Lina Messina, Darebin’s Mayor and the Chair of the Forum, hosted the event which brought together representatives from all of Melbourne’s 31 councils, the MWRRG Board and staff plus representatives from Sustainability Victoria and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning . She ended the evening by telling attendees that the ‘Forum has helped us deliver better environmental and economic outcomes for our community.’

Last updated: 17/06/2022