What is the Back to Earth Initiative?

What is the Back to Earth Initiative?

The Back to Earth Initiative is your chance to be a part of something that benefits everyone. By using your council’s green waste collection service correctly, you can help to create useful compost products and reduce the amount of organic waste dumped in landfill.

The Back to Earth Initiative was developed by the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) and runs in partnership with 19 metropolitan councils in Melbourne’s north, west and south east, and four regional councils in northern Victoria, to support the successful operation of new organics processing facilities. The Back to Earth Initiative shows us how what we put into our green waste bins can become a useful product that nourishes gardens and farms.  

North and west

In 2013, the first step in creating a sustainable network of organics processing facilities that service metropolitan Melbourne took place. As part of an organics processing contract with 11 northern and western metropolitan councils, a state-of-the-art, large-capacity green waste processing facility was built at Bulla in the City of Hume by Veolia Environmental Services. This facility uses in-vessel composting technology to process organic waste. At capacity, the Bulla facility can process 85,000 tonnes of organic waste a year, making it the largest of its kind in Victoria. Once the Bulla facility reaches capacity another site at Werribee in the City of Wyndham will be developed into a similar facility. The site, which is currently being used as a green waste transfer station, will be capable of processing a further 35,000 tonnes of organic waste a year.

Northern Victoria

Residents in northern Victoria have now joined metro councils in the Back to Earth Initiative, as new and improved organics services are introduced in Moira and Strathbogie Shires, the City of a Greater Shepparton and Benalla Rural City. 

Material from these councils is being composted at Western Composting - another  state-of-the-art, technology-leading organics processing facility located in Greater Shepparton City Council.

South east

Eight south eastern metropolitan councils joined the Back to Earth Initiative in 2016, entering into an organics processing contract that will see Melbourne’s network of organics processing facilities grow. 


For Metropolitan media enquiries, please contact Josh Rule (03 8698 9828) at the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group.

For media enquiries relating to the Goulburn Valley please contact the media officer at the relevant participating council.