Zero waste challenge set

CUTTING back on household waste is key to tackling the shrinking resources of Eaglehawk landfill, a Bendigo environmental group says.

The Zero Waste Action Group is calling on residents to reduce their waste usage for a month. 

The Zero Waste challenge, run through Bendigo Sustainability Group, begins today, with people challenged to change their recycling and waste practises.

Group member Michele Huthnance said it was a matter of each person adapting small measures to cut down their consumption of rubbish and disposable packaging.

“We’re targeting residential waste. The idea is to get people to try and reduce their household waste by 80 per cent for a month,” she said.

“We’re trying to get people to register for the challenge online and then they’ll receive an email each week with simple tips to try and reduce waste. We’re also giving stickers for people to put on their bins. We want to see thousands of stickers around Bendigo.”

Ms Huthnance said the target of 80 per cent sounded like a lot, but could be achieved with the help of planning tips, as well as recycling and composting measures.

At the group’s official launch at the Bendigo Farmer’s Market on the weekend, a range of stalls and recycling displays promoted the benefits of composting and reusing rubbish.

Ms Huthnance said the challenge was a way for individuals to help counter Bendigo’s growing waste management concerns.

“It’s a big issue and waste management is costing the council about $16 million a year.”

The initiative comes as the City of Greater Bendigo Council look to develop a new Waste and Resource Management Strategy.

A Waste and Resource Advisory Committee was looking for environmentally friendly ways to dispose of rubbish, with a long-term strategy for cost-effective waste disposal.

Ms Huthnance said she hoped the Zero Waste Challenge could become an annual event and expand to other cities and eventually the world.

To register and find information about the challenge go to www.zerowastechallenge.com.au

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