Bin collections to change

Collection changes are now in place

From the week commencing Monday February 5, 2024, household kerbside collections have changed:

The collection of general waste bins have swapped. General waste bins are now collected fortnightly on the week you would previously have put out your organics bin, and your organics bin is now collected weekly. 

Check your new bin collection

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Organics collection will change to weekly and general waste changes for fortnightly
Bin frequency change - bins

About the changes

These changes are in-line with the Victorian Government circular economy policy and plan Recycling Victoria: A new economy, which has set key actions for all Victorian Local Government to have zero organic material to landfill by 2030 and 80% of materials currently going to landfill to be diverted to alternative disposal methods by 2030. These targets have also informed the key objectives noted in the City of Greater Bendigo Climate Change and Environment Strategy 2021-2026.

The changes are the result of an audit of the City of Greater Bendigo’s kerbside bin collections which has shown that local general waste bins contain a significant 31 per cent of food and garden material in urban areas, and 46 per cent of food and garden material in rural areas, this should be going into the organics bin and not to landfill.

By making the switch to when the organics and general waste bins are collected, we can divert about 7,000 tonnes of organic material per year from landfill.

We know this because we’re not the first Council to make the switch. We’re joining over 17 other Victorian councils who have already successfully made the bin collection switch.

Reducing the amount of organic material in the waste stream is very important because:

  • With the Eaglehawk Landfill rapidly reaching capacity, Greater Bendigo is running out of landfill space. This means that the City will need to transport all general waste to a landfill outside of Greater Bendigo and this will drive up the costs to dispose of general waste
  • Food scraps and garden waste are valuable resources that can be recycled into a high-quality compost for use by farms, parks, and gardens
  • Decomposing food in landfill emits methane, a damaging greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere and contributes to climate change

Frequently asked questions

Is the decision to change general waste collections to fortnightly and organics bin collections to weekly final?

Yes. The Greater Bendigo City Council formally voted to make the change at its meeting on Monday January 30, 2023.

How will it work and when did the changes take place?

The changes took place on the week beginning Monday Feb 5, 2024
 
The collection frequency of general waste and organics bins have swapped. General waste bins are now collected fortnightly on the week you would previously have put out your organics bin, and your organics bin is now collected weekly.
 
Collection calendars are available on Check My Bin Night or by phoning 1300 002 642

Check my bin night

How much profit does the City make from the kerbside collection service?

The City’s kerbside collection service is cost neutral. This means that only the cost to provide the service is passed onto the ratepayer and no profit is made by the City.

Will there be a decrease in the rates I pay for the service as a result of the changes?

There will be no change to the waste charge on your rates notice as the level of service delivery is the same. It is a direct swap - one bin will still be collected weekly (organics), the other bin will still be collected fortnightly (general waste).

It is important to understand that the general waste fee does not only cover the cost of collection of general waste, it also covers all other waste related services to the community such as street sweeping and cleaning, public litter bins, transfer station operations, school education sessions and information material provided to the community just to name a few.

Won’t the bins of people who have young children in nappies or who use incontinent products smell?

A trial study undertaken by Lake Macquarie City Council (Community Nappy Trial Report 2014), reviewed concerns around odour in relation to a fortnightly general waste bin collection.

The study found that when soiled nappies were placed in plastic bags or wrapped in newspaper, and the general waste bin was kept in the shade, odour was no more of an issue two weeks after disposal in the bin than it was after one week.  

*Note - Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021 Census data states that 5 per cent or 2,134 residents of Greater Bendigo’s population is aged 0-4 years old.

How has the City consulted with the community to recommend the proposed changes?

As part of the service review, in 2021 the City surveyed residents on a number of waste and resource recovery services and received 2,800 responses, which provided a high-level snapshot of community thoughts. 

While 54 per cent of respondents said they did not want a change to their existing service, the survey also revealed:

  • 66 per cent of customers with a 140-litre general waste bin are not filling it every week
  • 63 per cent of customers with a 240-litre general waste bin are not filling it every week
  • 31 per cent of customers with a 240-litre general waste bin say their bin is filled 50 per cent or less each week
  • A total of 34 per cent of customers across both bin sizes say they fill their general waste bin weekly
Are there any other Victorian Council’s that have introduced fortnightly general waste and weekly food organics and garden organics (FOGO) collections?

Yes. A number of councils that have switched to weekly FOGO and fortnightly general waste collections have seen dramatic reductions in diverting organics from landfill and seen large increases in recycling rates. For example:

Macedon Ranges Shire Council: the amount of general waste collected since the introduction of a weekly FOGO service in February 2020 has reduced by 32 per cent. The monthly landfill diversion rate before the introduction of the weekly FOGO collection was 39 per cent and this rose to 74 per cent by October 2021.

City of Banyule: the organics diversion has increased by 42 per cent since switching to a weekly FOGO collection in July 2022.

Glen Eira City Council: the organics diversion has increased by 45 per cent since switching to a weekly FOGO collection in July 2022.

Surf Coast Shire Council: the organics diversion has increased 46 per cent since switching to a weekly FOGO collection, as well as a 32 per cent decrease in waste to landfill since 2020.

Bass Coast Shire Council: went straight to a weekly FOGO collection in September 2017 and has reported that waste-to-landfill has been consistently below 30 per cent since this introduction.

Can I get a smaller or larger organics bin?

Yes. The City has 140-litre and 240-litre green organics bins available, and there is no cost difference between the sizes.

You can easily arrange a smaller or larger organics bin online or by phoning the City on: 

1300 002 642

What can go in my organics bin?
  • All food products – bones, fruit peels/skin, eggshells, meat, fish
  • Garden clippings
  • Hair/pet hair
  • Vacuum dust
  • Tissues
  • Cardboard
  • Tea bags (including staple and string)
  • Pizza boxes
  • Fish and chip paper (not the waxy paper)
  • Cardboard take-away food packaging
Can I get a bigger general waste bin?

The recommended general waste bin size is 140 litre. This is the most cost effective and widely utilised size across Greater Bendigo. You can upsize to a 240 litre bin. However, this is costly and will increase the charges on your rates notice.

What should go in each bin?

The City has developed an A-Z Guide for Waste Disposal, which lists what goes in each bin:

Waste disposal guide

How can I dispose of unwanted or excess items that can’t go in my kerbside bin?

There are lots of items that you can dispose of at City transfer stations located in Strathfieldsaye, Heathcote and Goornong, or the Eaglehawk Recycle Shop (located at the entrance to the Eaglehawk Landfill), with many accepted free of charge. This includes:

  • Pre-loved household items, exercise equipment, bikes, furniture and more
  • E-waste (anything with a plug, cord or battery)
  • Scrap metal
  • Old paint
  • Clean green waste
  • Soft plastics
  • Textiles, including clothing, linen, sheets, blankets, doonas, pillows, paired shoes, towels, material and yarn off cuts

Discover your local transfer station today!