The Victorian government will create a Waste Crime Prevention Inspectorate and a Business Innovation Centre as part of the state’s new 10-year plan to overhaul the recycling sector.
The inspectorate will sit within the Environment Protection Authority, and will work closely with WorkSafe Victoria, emergency service agencies, councils and other regulators to improve information sharing and coordination.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced the $300 million package at a CEDA event on Wednesday.
She said the plan would “clean up the industry” by targeting waste crime, with $71.4 million to help stop illegal dumping and stockpiling.
Under the plan, Victoria will reduce its reliance on landfill with a diversion target of 80%, and a new data system to measure progress by providing accurate information on the flow of recycled materials. It aims to shift Victoria to a circular economy.
A whopping $14.6 million will be designated to supporting local projects — particularly in regional communities — which boost recycling and reduce waste.
There will also be funding available for businesses and waste-to-energy initiatives, and a Business Innovation Centre will be created to develop innovative technology and solutions to waste problems.
An estimated 3,900 jobs will be created under the plan.
READ MORE: Are NSW and VIC rubbish at recycling?
On Monday it was announced that the state would be implementing a new four-bin household recycling system to separate recyclables, glass, food and organics, and waste, with a container deposit scheme to begin by 2023. South Australia set up the first Australian container deposit scheme in 1977. The remaining states and territories have all caught up since then, with Victoria being the last.
The government will progressively increase the landfill levy over coming years to bring it into line with other states.