The Andrews Labor Government is diverting more than half a million tonnes of food and garden waste away from Melbourne’s landfills annually.

State Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, today welcomed the announcement by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP, that a major agreement had been secured to complete a network of organic processing facilities across Melbourne.

City of Greater Dandenong and Casey Council have joined with Bayside, Cardinia, Frankston, Glen Eira, Kingston and Monash Councils in signing contracts with Veolia Environmental Services, Cleanaway and Sacyr Industrial to process organics.

The agreements will ensure Melbourne’s organics processing network is on track to exceed the target set out in the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan to build an extra 400,000 tonnes of capacity to process organics by 2021.

This will create up to 100 jobs during construction and establishment of the compost facility and between 25 to 30 positions on-going.

The significant increase in the capacity of Melbourne’s organics processing network opens up opportunities for councils to expand kerbside green waste collections to include food waste and provides sufficient capacity for business and industry to be able to divert commercial food waste away from landfill.

Diverting food and garden waste from landfills means that methane produced during decomposition is not released to the atmosphere where it is a major greenhouse gas. Methane released to the atmosphere is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide which traps heat and contributes to climate change.

By 2042 it is projected waste volumes will grow from 10.4 million to 16.5 million tonnes each year (a 63 per cent increase). The Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan came into effect on 6 October 2016 and is now being put into action.