New public events policy clamps down on waste

New requirements governing waste management – including plastics – at local public events will be phased in over the next two years after Mount Alexander Shire Council adopted its new waste-wise events policy last week.
Once fully implemented, the new policy will require a range of more environmentally sustainable practices aimed at reducing landfill and environmental pollution from non-renewable sources like plastics – and tackling greenhouse gas emissions.
Single-use bags, cling wrap, straws, plates, bowls, cups, cutlery and food containers will not be able to be used without special exemption, and portable toilets will need to be compostable.
The release of gas-filled balloons will be banned, bottled water will not be able to be provided, sold or distributed without special exemption, while free access to water must be provided with BYO reusable bottles encouraged.
These are just some of the requirements that will come into effect under the new policy that will also require events with more than 250 expected attendees to have a designate waste-wise supervisor.
“I think it’s a good policy and the council will work collaboratively with event organisers to implement it over the next two years,” Tarrangower ward’s Cr Stephen Gardner said, moving that it be adopted.
Cr Bronwen Machin provided a seconder for adopting the policy, observing that it was in keeping with related changes at both state and federal levels of government.
“We have been promised a container deposit scheme by the time this is happening, which means a decrease for our levies and therefore a benefit for our communities,” Cr Machin said.
A council officer’s report stated that the purpose of the new policy was to outline the council’s commitment to waste-wise practices at events it ran or supported and also those held in its buildings or on land or roads it managed.
But while not going so far as to vote against it, Loddon River ward’s Cr John Nieman was not so impressed with the new waste-wise events policy.
“The only thing that saves this policy is the two-year shakedown,” he said.
“I think it’s unnecessary and improper.”
Cr Dave Petrusma was the only apology among councillors at last Tuesday evening’s March council meeting.

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