This article was adapted from our latest book, “Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons.” Download your free pdf copy today.

Melbourne’s waste is managed within a complex set of state- and city-level plans. The city of Melbourne’s Waste and Resource Recovery Plan 2015-2018 aims to reduce waste, maximize resource recovery and improve local amenity in Melbourne. The city’s comparatively low diversion of municipal waste from landfill, relative to other metropolitan councils, is a key driver of the plan.

The plan supports projects that are often community designed, commons based, and publicly audited. According to the plan posted on the city of Melbourne website, 10 initiatives are being pursued during the 2015-2018 period. Initiatives include shared garbage compactors and minirecycling hubs in four waste hotspots in the city, a system where residents can earn points for recycling that can be used to buy local products, and a resident/city/building-owner collaboration to increase recycling in high-rise apartments. This plan represents a model for intelligent spending and collaborative action to reduce waste at the city level.

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Header image by Jes on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Marco Quaglia


Marco Quaglia

Marco Quaglia has a Master’s degree in International Relations at LUISS University. It was there that he entered the Laboratory for the Governance of the Commons (LabGov) mainly as an