Reduce your waste

Are you looking for ways to reduce the amount of waste you generate, including waste to landfill, plastics and food waste? Have a look through some ideas below to get you started.

Single use plastics ban

Pack your reusables, it’s time to reduce our plastic pollution!

From 1 February 2023 the Victorian Government banned the following single-use plastics from sale and supply:

  • Drinking straws
  • Cutlery and plates
  • Drink stirrers and sticks
  • Cotton bud sticks and,
  • Expanded polystyrene food and drink containers.

Items made from conventional, degradable and compostable plastics, including bioplastic and oxo-degradable materials, will be included in the ban. The ban will affect retail and hospitality, businesses, suppliers and other businesses, organisations and non-for profits such as hospitals, sports clubs and schools.

Single use plastics are used briefly but go on to remain in the environment for a long time, making up over a third of all litter. They are difficult to recycle and are a common contaminant in recycling facilities. By banning single use plastics we can minimise waste to landfill, reduce plastic pollution, and protect our wildlife and environment.

There are many great reusable options and alternative single use items to be considered, such as: 

  • Cutlery made from stainless steel, bamboo or heavyweight plastic that can be reused.
  • Reusable glass, heavyweight plastic, or metal containers/cups.
  • Straws made from bamboo, stainless steel, or silicone.
  • Cotton pads or buds with bamboo sticks.

Visit Single Use Plastics Ban and Sustainability Victoria for more information and support.


Compost bins

Hepburn Shire periodically offers residents subsidised compost bins to help you reduce waste to landfill by turning food scraps and garden waste into compost, which can help create great soil at home.

Currently there is no stock available at the transfer stations. Check back soon.  


Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?

Sign up to take the challenge, take the quiz to get you thinking of ways you use and can reduce plastic – maybe even share with friends, family and colleagues to get them thinking how they might use less – or even none.

The Plastic Free July website has lots of resources and ideas to get you started!


Reusable items voucher

In 2024 Council ran a successful reusable item pilot that during March, April and May. To support Hepburn Shire households reduce the amount of waste they create, Council offered a discount voucher for the purchase of cloth nappies, period products and other single-use items. Disposable nappies, period and sanitary products are one of the state’s biggest contributors to landfill. All 120 vouchers available during trial were claimed. 

Keep your eye out for more reusable items vouchers in the future.

Why change to reusable items?

  • Around 660 million disposable nappies, sanitary and incontinence products end up in landfill in Australia each year?
  • Every child will use on average 6,000-7,000 nappies before they toilet train. 
  • Over the course of a lifetime, a menstruator will use between 5,000 – 15,000 sanitary products. Most of which will end up in a landfill.
  • During production, disposable nappies use three times more energy and water, and 20 times more raw materials than reusable nappies.
  • It takes one cup of crude oil to make one disposable nappy.
  • Each nappy takes 500+ years to breakdown in landfill, releasing methane in the process (a harmful gas which contributes to global warming).
  • On average, a child will use $3,500 worth of nappies. Reusable nappies can cost you between $500 and $1,500.
  • Reusable nappies can be used from child to child and from household to household. Buying reusable nappies second hand can cut down costs even further.
  • If you use disposable nappies, these go in your landfill/general rubbish bin.

Learn more


Good for the Hood @Home - sustainability learning hub

Hepburn Shire is part of the Good for the Hood @Home program. The program provides many live and recorded sessions on a range of topics including food, energy and a chance to meet like-minded community members.