North Melbourne Recycle Now | Environment Victoria

Donate Now

Great estate: North Melbourne the latest to start public housing recycling

Most public housing estates across Victoria don’t have recycling services. Built largely in the post-war years, the tall tower blocks have one central chute for rubbish, hundreds of households have no choice but to throw everything out to landfill and figuring out how to start recycling has been a tough challenge. 

But several innovative local Councils are working with the Department of Human Services who manage Victoria’s public housing, to trial various recycling methods. Environment Victoria has been invited to partner on some of these projects, providing expertise in community engagement. 

We’ve been working on a recycling pilot project in the Flemington public housing estate. We also added recycling outreach activities to the Carlton Eco Neighbourhood project, where recycling was built into the new environmentally sustainable buildings but the residents weren’t used to using it. 

Environment Victoria’s latest foray into public housing recycling is in North Melbourne. Working in partnership with the City of Melbourne we ran the Recycle Now trial from November 2012 to July 2013. 

Recycle Now involves recycling bins being installed by City of Melbourne in selected buildings on the North Melbourne estate, and us working together to add the human element – recruiting, training and mentoring local residents to help spread the word and encourage their neighbours to start recycling.

In the Recycle Now trial a group of 18 locals and students of the North Melbourne Language and Learning Centre, on the estate, completed a training course by Environment Victoria and became Recycle Champions. From diverse backgrounds, the Recycle Champions reflect the cultural and demographic profile of the North Melbourne estate. Our Champions speak Arabic, Amharic, Somali, Oromo, Tigrinya, Chinese, Vietnamese and English. They’ve made new friends and chosen partners to work with, door-knocking all 210 households involved in the trial, to deliver their crate they’ll use for recycling and to motivate them to take part. They're still active and have also delivered community BBQs, attended visits to recycling factories (see photos here) and helped us monitor the new bins. 

“I believe I must do it, for me. I believe I must do this job; it's for our country, our society. It's good to recycle.”

(North Melbourne Recycle Champion)

The trial kicked off to a great start. City of Melbourne has installed 18 new 240L recycling bins in the trial buildings and residents embraced the opportunity to start recycling - to the degree they actually generated more recycling than the bins could hold. As a result the City of Melbourne provided additional bin collections. The Recycle Now trial resulted in residents of two buildings producing enough recycling to save more than 50 tonnes of material from landfill each year, a fantastic outcome. 

Contact us for more information. 


We congratulate Recycle Now Recycle Champion Sultan for starring in the April edition of the City of Melbourne’s Melbourne News magazine!

In an article titled ‘Doing the right thing’, Sultan explains his childhood awakening to environmental issues, planting a tree in South Sudan that still stands today, and his experience in the Recycle Now project. He is a passionate environmental advocate and has taken to the role of Recycle Champion with great flair, from writing and giving speeches in Arabic at our community BBQ on 9 March, to conducting weekly audits of the recycle bins and talking to his neighbours in North Melbourne’s Alfred St high rise about the merits of recycling. 
Read the article here


I’ve recently taken two groups of North Melbourne residents, including some of our Recycle Now Recycle Champions, to SKM Recycling in Coolaroo to learn more about what happens after we put our household recycling products into the recycling bin.

Read all about it here.


13,000 jobs in efficiency, new report finds

9 December 2015

Simply upgrading the energy and water efficiency of Victoria’s building stock could stimulate $10 billion of investment and create up to 13,000 jobs, a new report from Environment Victoria has...


Dirty Politics hurts Clean Energy

1 September 2014

The Victorian Coalition Government's systematic campaign against renewable energy has cost Victoria investment, employment and revenue according to Sun Blocks and Wind Breaks, a report released today by Environment...


Environment Victoria reaction to scrapping of Victorian Energy Efficiency Target:

21 May 2014

Environment Victoria Acting CEO Mark Wakeham said today:

"Of all the decisions the Napthine Government has made to protect existing coal generators and prevent renewable...


Federal Budget takes the axe to climate and environment protection and Coalition’s environment credentials

13 May 2014

Environment Victoria has described this evening’s Federal Budget as permanently damaging, both to the environment, but also to the Coalition’...


Environment protection and programs slashed in State Budget

6 May 2014

With massive cuts to environmental programs and a failure to honor its 2010 election commitments, Environment Victoria has described today’s State Budget as backwards looking and damaging for the state...


Heatwave sparks record-breaking water use in Melbourne households

29 January 2014
Rachel Wells, The Age

Melbourne households used a record amount of water earlier this month, when daily average consumption reached 255 litres a person - the highest since...


'Leaky homes' paying the price

20 December 2013
Castlemaine Mail



Environment Victoria condemns Abbott Government attacks on the environment’s legal team

18 December 2013

Environment Victoria is appalled by the Abbott Government’s decision to terminate funding for the Environment Defenders Offices across Australia.  



State of the Environment report paints bleak picture for the future

28 November 2013

Environment Victoria has warned today that the continued deterioration of Victoria’s environment, as highlighted in the State of Environment Report released today, is a clear and present...


Victorian environment report suggests consideration of congestion tax, more buses

28 Novemberr 2013
Tom Arup, The Age
Victoria should investigate traffic congestion taxes, overhaul its energy supply and change its approach to planned...

From Twitter Twitter

Cameron Wheatley

Sustainable travel tips

posted by Cameron Wheatley on Tuesday, 22 December, 2015 - 12:56

How can we make sure that when we travel our desire to live responsibly doesn’t get left at home? We’ve pulled together a selection of resources that will help you make wiser travel choices this summer.

Nick Roberts

Healthy rivers and water-smart cities should be more than a pipe-dream

posted by Nick Roberts on Friday, 4 December, 2015 - 16:58

As the impacts of a record El Niño compounded by climate change hit home across Victoria this year, discussion about what to do with our limited water resources is once again heating up.

Parts of Victoria are again in drought. Water earmarked for environmental use to help...

Amy Yang

Riad and Mary's story

posted by Amy Yang on Thursday, 25 June, 2015 - 12:57

Riad doesn’t remember the exact date his family fled their home in the city of Al-Hasaka, Syria, nor the date they arrived in Lebanon. But the day he and his wife, Mary, arrived in Australia is a date that he easily recalls: Tuesday the 14th of October 2014.


Nick Roberts

Australian houses are just glorified tents in winter

posted by Nick Roberts on Monday, 15 June, 2015 - 11:54

As we shiver through the first weeks of winter, here's a fact to give you goosebumps: more people die from the cold in Australia than in Sweden. According to a new study published in medical journal The Lancet, cold contributed to about 3.9 per cent of deaths in Sweden,...


Introducing our new Campaigns Director, Alex White

posted by markwakeham on Monday, 1 September, 2014 - 18:24

Our new Campaigns Director, Alex White, starts today. Here's what he has to say about why he came to Environment Victoria.

Back in 2012, I spent three months working on the Obama campaign in Boston and New Hampshire. The locals, as well as being bemused by my hard-to-understand...


From Flickr Flickr

Nothing to see here. Keep on moving...

2015 thank you video

2015 was a huge year for our environment in Victoria...thanks to you! Here's what we achieved together.

Posted by Environment Victoria on Sunday, December 20, 2015
    2015 Thank You   2015 was a huge year for our environment in Victoria...thanks to you! Here's what we achieved together.    

  Unfair Fuel Campaign Update   Environment Victoria Safe Climate Campaigner, Dr Nicholas Aberle, provides an update on our Unfair Fuel campaign from underneath our new digital billboard in Camberwell junction, just up the road from the office of Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. You...

  Environment Victoria's 2014 Election Campaign Wrap For over two years, volunteers with Environment Victoria (perhaps you are one of them!) worked deeply in four key marginal seats to talk with voters about climate change and the environment.  Our mission was to put the environment and...

Thanks to the generous contributions of our amazing supporters, our new billboard is live on the Nepean Highway, Bentleigh - gateway to four electorates crucial to this state election. Every day this month, it'll be seen by 100,000 people. Four out of five Victorians support clean, renewable...

Our Community Counts Rally - Jane Stabb's speech On Sunday 6 July, 25,000 Victorians braved the cold yesterday to speak out against a Budget that cuts key programs for our climate and environment, while continuing to support big polluters. Environment Victoria's Community Organiser Jane Stabb...

Frankston Enviro Hub Grand Opening On Thursday 5 June, Environment Victoria launched the Frankston Enviro Hub - our brand new 2014 State Election HQ. The Enviro Hub is a place where local groups can get together and share ideas and where people can wander in for information to find out how they...

Quick, clean energy jobs for Victoria With jobs looming as a major state election issue, and growing concerns about the social and environmental cost of fossil fuels, what are the options for quickly boosting employment in Victoria in the renewable energy industry? What sort of jobs could be...

Hazelwood fire update from Morwell On 25 February Environment Victoria's Acting CEO Mark Wakeham visited Morwell to meet with concerned residents affected by the Hazelwood coal mine fire. This update was filmed outside homes just 600m from the burning coal pit. Hazelwood power station can be seen...

Nothing to see here. Keep on moving...

More Green Action people like you:

Nothing to see here. Keep on moving...

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required


© 2016 Environment Victoria