Landfills in Melbourne’s north-west may have to absorb all the city’s waste within the next 10 years as tips in the south-east begin to close, a new draft waste plan has proposed.

The state government’s recently released draft Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan (MWRRG) sets out how Melbourne’s capacity to manage waste will be managed over the next decade.

It aims to reduce the city’s reliance on landfills and provide more alternatives, such as recycling facilities and new kerbside bins that accept garden waste, and fruit and vegetable scraps.

The plan says that while the metropolitan region has adequate infrastructure capacity, most potential capacity is in the north-west.

It says the Clayton/Dingley cluster of landfills in the south-east will close in the next 18 months to three years, with the three remaining landfills at Hallam, Lyndhurst and Cranbourne continuing for another 10 years.

“Beyond 10 years, planning decisions must consider whether it is optimal for all of Melbourne’s landfilling needs to occur in the north-west,” the report states.

“If the north-west catchment managed all metropolitan disposal needs, some landfills would be required to operate at a significantly higher capacity.

“How this might affect communities, businesses and the environment will need to be further assessed in considering whether land filling in the north-west may be an optimal long-term solution.”

Few details

Hume and Whittlesea council staff were briefed on the draft plan last week.

Representatives of both councils said that, at this point, no details had been shared about which landfills in the north would be expected to expand operations.

Western Metropolitan MP Bernie Finn said “locals are furious”.

He asked Environment, Climate Change and Water Minister Lisa Neville to reassure his constituents that Melbourne’s north and west would not “be the dumping group for millions of tonnes of stinking waste”.

Ms Neville told Star Weekly there would be chances for residents and businesses to have a say before the waste plan is finalised.