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 food and green waste collection service correctly, you can help create useful compost, to nourish gardens and farms, and reduce the amount of food and green waste dumped in landfill.

The Back to Earth Initiative is run by the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) in partnership with 27 councils across Victoira and industry with support from Sustainability Victoria and the regional waste and resource recovery groups. The Back to Earth Initiative shows us that what we put into our green bins can become a useful resource to nourish gardens and farms.


The Back to Earth story

In 2013, 11 northern and western councils became the first in Melbourne to recycle green waste and join the Back to Earth Initiative. Under the agreement, a state-of-the-art, large-capacity green waste processing facility in Bulla can process up to 85,000 tonnes of food and garden waste a year, making it the largest of its kind in Victoria.

Residents in northern Victoria joined the Back to Earth Initiative in 2015, when new and improved green waste services were introduced in Moira and Strathbogie Shires, the City of Greater Shepparton and Benalla Rural City. Up to 7,000 tonnes of green waste from these councils can be composted at the state of the art Western Composting Organics Processing Facility in Shepparton.

Eight south eastern metropolitan councils joined the Back to Earth Initiative in 2016, entering into a joint organics processing contract. This joint contract has capacity to process 280,000 tonnes of food and green waste per year.

Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges councils joined Back to Earth in 2019. Up to 60,000 tonnes of green waste can now be recovered across these five council areas thanks to a new waste recovery contract. Working with MWRRG, they have jointly negotiated a contract to recover green waste through kerbside collection which began in May 2019.

In 2019 all councils were offered the opportunity to join the Back to Earth Initiative. 27 councils signed up and reaffirmed their commitment to working with government and industry to deliver food and green waste recycling to residents.



For media enquiries, please contact Josh Rule (03 8698 9828).