Waste recycling plans for Ferntree Gully

By Anne Boyd

Proposed site for recycling container in Station Street.

Jackson Taylor’s media release (below) sets out the Victorian Government plan to introduce recycling drop off points. Similar systems have been in place for many years in other countries and states of Australia.

Recycling company Visy is the appointed contractor to put the plan in place in eastern municipalities. Their proposal for Ferntree Gully is to situate a 13 metre long container in the small car park in the Village beside the shops at 100 Station Street. The proposal had to come to Knox Council Planning for approval because of the proposed decrease of parking spaces.

At their meeting on 23 October, Knox councillors, after extended debate, voted to accept Visy’s proposal.

We wish here to make it clear that nobody is against plans to recycle waste or against the various ways to do it. Those voting for the Visy site stressed the importance of recycling and the need to bring more people into the shopping centre. However, others are questioning the current choice of site in the Village, the lack of consideration of other sites and the absence of public consultation.

A first vote rejected Dobson Ward Cr Baker’s proposal to refuse the main motion and consider more sites. The second vote then accepted the Visy proposal, the result depending on a casting vote.

Crs Baker, Cooper, Seymour and Mayor Timmers-Leitch spoke passionately for refusing because of reduction of parking in a shopping centre, likely negative effects on special landscape character of Village, and on present revitalisation plans, and because of present lack of information about alternative sites.

Cr Cooper put it succinctly, ‘I’m really gobsmacked that we’re not listening to our councillor in this instance. I’m quite surprised that we think we know better than the people who are actually trading in that area and using that space. And I agree whole heartedly – this is a mistake.

‘And I really would like councillors to reconsider their positions before casting their votes because 17% reduction in car park impacts businesses. We know this from other areas, so why is this is an exception? I just don’t understand it – and it doesn’t mean that this service is not going to continue. In fact the proposal of some councillors is that it actually [can] just take place a few metres across the track – if that’s possibly viable. But we don’t know if it is, because we don’t do the consultation and we’re not giving anyone the opportunity to actually do that consultation. So in good conscience I cannot support this at this point in time and I absolutely support everything that the ward councillor is saying tonight.’

The debate will continue because the October meeting is not the end of the process and the proposal has to come before Council again because they own the land.

Gully News is reporting the issue because it seems both Village Traders and local residents may wish to share opinions and make better suggestions. Rather than waiting until the proposal returns to a Council Agenda we suggest beginning now. We want to know what people think. What solutions can be found? What happens elsewhere?

Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme now open

By Jackson Taylor MP, for Bayswater

The Allan Labor Government has today launched Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme – CDS Vic, which will reduce the State’s litter by up to half while putting money back in the pockets of Victorians.

Minister for Environment Steve Dimopoulos opened the scheme, where people can now return their eligible drink cans, bottles and cartons for a 10-cent refund at refund points across Victoria. The scheme will generate more than 600 jobs statewide and turn used drink containers into new, recycled products.

Reverse vending machines, depots, over-the-counter sites, and pop-up refund points will be the four ways people can return their eligible containers – and depending on the type of refund point, people can choose whether they want to receive the refund in the form of cash, a retail voucher, or an electronic refund. Victorians can also choose to donate their refund to a charity or community organisation registered with the scheme.

Image: Knox Council

The network of refund points to recycle containers will continue to grow in 2024 – making the scheme even more accessible to Victorians. VicReturn is the Scheme Coordinator, while Zone Operators Return-It, TOMRA Cleanaway, and Visy will establish and oversee the refund points and refunds to customers, as well as ensuring proper recycling of the containers. The operators are each responsible for the refund point network in their allocated scheme zones: north, east and west.

Within nine months of the scheme starting, the Zone Operators will be required to have a minimum of one collection point per 14,500 people in metropolitan areas, at least one per town of 750 people in regional areas, and at least one per town of 350 people in remote areas.

CDS Vic is part of the Labor Government’s $515 million investment to transform the State’s waste and recycling system. This includes the new standardised four-stream waste and recycling system, supporting our target of diverting 80 per cent of all material away from landfill by 2030.

To learn more about CDS Vic and to find the nearest refund point closest to you, visit cdsvic.org.au.

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