Circular economy

Council is committed to developing and promoting the circular economy to diversify our local economy and support our sustainability goals.  

This is a journey we take together with our residents and businesses to transition our economy from a linear, extractive model (take-make-waste) to a circular and regenerative model (reuse, recycle, repair, restore).   

With the help of state and federal governments, we are designing local systems of production, procurement and service delivery that minimise waste and pollution and build economic, social and ecological resilience.

For updates and invitations to engage with our Circular Economy work, please sign up to the Circular Economy e-news.

What is the circular economy?

The Circular Economy is about localisation and keeping materials, knowledge, money and nutrients circulating locally through strategies like Reuse, Repair, Refurbish, Remanufacture and Recycle. Being more collaborative, inclusive, distributed, diverse and connected, the Circular Economy enhances resilience and provides the foundation for healthier, happier, growing and thriving communities. 

The Circular Economy is based on three principles: 

  • Design out waste and pollution  

  • Keep products and materials in use 

  • Regenerate natural systems 

These three principles are captured in our Circular economy logo, which guides our work in this area: 

Circular economy logo and illustration

We are shifting to a system where we: regenerate natural systems; design out waste and pollution; and keep products and materials in use.

For a quick introduction to the Circular Economy watch this Youtube video:


Here are several resources to learn more about the Circular Economy and how it is being implemented in Australia and around the world:  

Our Circular Economy Framework and Roadmap

Council is committed to developing and promoting the circular economy to diversify our local economy and support our sustainability goals, a priority statement of Council Plan (2021-2025).  

The Sustainable Hepburn Strategy (2022-2026), co-designed with the community, identifies key actions to transition the shire to a circular economy. Supported by a dedicated Circular Economy Officer, these actions include:  

  • Developing a Circular Economy Framework and Roadmap  

  • Integrating circular economy principles across Council operations, such as in waste management (resource recovery), procurement and engineering and works.  

  • Working with local and regional stakeholders to deliver circular economy outcomes, such as through partnership and flagship projects.  

Our priority will be on improving the circularity of our operations and demonstrating circular leadership, at the same time showcasing leadership within our Shire and developing tools and initiatives to assist community and business to evolve their own processes towards a more connected and circular local economy.  

The Circular Economy Framework and Roadmap is planned for release in early 2024. Any questions please contact: Jodi Newcombe, Circular Economy Officer,

The ASPIRE platform for businesses

Council is offering free access to a circular economy platform called ASPIRE for all organisations and businesses with 20 employees or less. ASPIRE marketplace is an online tool that connects businesses wanting to buy, sell or trade unwanted materials and product, demonstrating that one business' trash really can be another's treasure. 


Learn more about ASPIRE

The Circular Economy Business Toolkit

Council teamed up with circular economy guru Good Human to produce a Circular Economy Toolkit for local businesses (as Stage 2 of Connecting the Circular Economy).

The toolkit consists of an Introductory booklet and a set of Circular Economy Strategy Cards and Case Studies. We invite all organisations and businesses in the Shire to try it out and provide their feedback via this form.

Download the booklet(PDF, 2MB)

Download the cards(PDF, 598KB)

You can also check out these inspirational Circular Economy business innovation and circular transition toolkits from around the world: 

Connecting the Circular Economy – Stage 1

The Connecting the Circular Economy project Stage 1 (August 2022 to February 2023) took a practical approach to understanding, mapping and actioning the opportunities presented by the Circular Economy for the Shire. 

Full results from this project are available on the Participate Hepburn project page, were you can download The Hepburn Circular Economy Activation Recommendations Report which identifies areas of strength and areas where there are gaps in supporting the activation of a circular economy in the Shire. 

This engagement project was hosted by and partially funded by Hepburn Energy. Council was a major partner and partial funder. Good Human delivered the engagement process and the project outputs. 

The results of this work fed into Stage 2 – Circular Economy Business Toolkit. The findings will also inform the Circular Economy Framework and Roadmap for Hepburn Shire. 

Local Circular Economy Champions

Here is where we showcase local businesses and organisations doing great things for the circular economy. If you know of any great examples or would like to appear here, please get in touch with Jodi Newcombe, Circular Economy Officer,