Message from CEO Jill Riseley

As 2021 draws to a close, I have been reflecting on the tremendous progress that has been made this year to transform our waste and resource recovery sector and transition Victoria to a circular economy—culminating in the passing of the Circular Economy (Waste and Recycling) Act 2021 in the Victorian Parliament this month.

The new legislation will see the seven waste and resource recovery groups transition to form a new business unit in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) on 1 July 2022. We will be joined by colleagues from Sustainability Victoria and DELWP to form Recycling Victoria—a new entity that will oversee the waste, recycling, and resource recovery sector, and support the development of a circular economy.

The establishment of Recycling Victoria is a very exciting step in our transition to a circular economy, bringing together responsibility for the container deposit scheme, strategic planning for waste, recycling and resource recovery service, data collection, and monitoring and compliance.

The team here at Metro are well equipped to take up the challenge that Recycling Victoria brings, building on solid foundations of collaborative procurement, strong relationships with local government and expertise in education and behaviour change.

Our journey to a circular economy will be enhanced in the new year when we train more than 200 circular economy leaders in a world first partnership with the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC). The circular economy leadership course will bring global insights to Victoria, building knowledge, expertise and leadership in councils, community organisations and the waste and resource recovery sector.

I’m proud of the important work we’ve accomplished this year towards meeting the objectives of the Victorian Government’s circular economy policy and plan, Recycling Victoria: a new economy (Recycling Victoria).

Our landfill collaborative procurement, which is valued at approximately $100 million per annum, brought together 30 metropolitan councils—the largest number of councils ever to participate in a collaborative procurement in Victoria.

We also progressed the south east metropolitan advanced waste processing procurement with the three shortlisted respondents working with councils to deliver an alternative to landfill. This procurement will play a significant role in delivering the Recycling Victoria target to divert 80% of waste from landfill by 2030. 

This year we developed a range of resources to enable councils and business to deliver effective waste and recycling services—from guidance on preventing illegal dumping to our Food waste for business guide, which provides practical advice to help businesses reduce or recycle their food waste. To encourage councils to increase their use of products made from recycled content, we released a report on the barriers and opportunities to procurement.

Despite working remotely for most of the year we have continued to engage with councils, industry, and the waste portfolio on a wide range of projects and initiatives, including ensuring vital contingency measures were in place and risks to operations minimised as we responded to the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic.

I’d like to thank our local government partners, the waste and recycling industry and those in the community who have supported and worked with us throughout 2021. I am especially grateful for the support of our Board and the extraordinary staff at Metro.

I hope you have a safe and happy festive season. I look forward to continuing to work closely with you in 2022 as we prepare for a once in a generation change in waste, recycling and resource recovery.

 

Last updated: 17/12/2021