The City of Ballarat is now the only council area in the entire state to not have some form of kerbside glass collection.
For nearly two years, Ballarat's glass recycling program has consisted of nine drop-off points where residents can take their empty bottles and jars to be recycled.
Meanwhile, of the state's 79 councils, 71 continue to use a comingled recycling bin with glass accepted along with aluminium, paper and plastic and seven have a glass-only collection service either planned or underway.
Since the City of Ballarat started the drop-off system for glass recycling, council said between 50 and 60 per cent of glass bottles and jars were being captured.
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A glass-only recycling program allows a greater recovery rate for recyclables across the board as wet, dirty or broken glass does not contaminate other products such as paper or cardboard and also allows for more glass to also be recovered.
City of Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney said council had no immediate plans to start a glass-only collection service, but it had not been ruled out completely.
"I guess we've been concerned about running trucks over big distances to collect small amounts of glass," he said.
"Before we head down the path of running an expensive truck or multiple trucks over big distances throughout the City of Ballarat to collect not much glass, we first of all need to understand what people's preferences are.
"We want to probably understand a couple of things that could potentially blow out the collection budget, such as what the container deposit scheme is going to do and the preferences from locals because those two things could turn this into a very expensive exercise for ratepayers."
Cr Moloney said the current system was the most efficient approach to glass recycling.
"It's very expensive to run dedicated trucks all around a municipality the size of Ballarat and particularly costly if a truck has to stop at every house picking up maybe half a dozen bottles every time," he said.
"Obviously, having a reasonably full yellow bin for recycling and red bin for general waste is viable because people tend to fill those.
"Progressively, we're encouraging people to pass on glass completely as part of their shopping habits and we're just seeing the amount of glass being collected is a lot smaller than it used to be."
WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOUR SAY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STORY
Ballarat is the only local government area without a kerbside glass collection service, whether through a comingled recycling or glass-only bin after the Pyrenees Shire Council started its rollout of a glass-only service in Beaufort this week.
For the last two years, Pyrenees Shire Council operated under the same system as the City of Ballarat, with communal glass recycling skips placed throughout its townships.
Pyrenees Shire Council director of assets and development services Douglas Gowans said the kerbside collection would make recycling glass much easier for its residents and would cost ratepayers an extra $60 to $70 per year.
"What will happen is by having that at-home ability to have a glass recycling bin, we will get a higher percentage of material being recycled which means that there will be less impact on the environment because less material will be going to landfill," he said.
"We've had some community surveys that were very keen on the community wanting a kerbside collection for glass.
"There was quite a high desire to have a glass street collection. I think we had a survey last year where we had about 173 responses and 142 of them were indicating that they'd like a glass collection, so there's a majority of people in the shire, based on the survey results we've got, that have indicated that they like a glass kerbside bin."
University of Melbourne associate professor and head of geotechnical engineering team Mahdi Disfani an important factor in recycling glass was the ability to sort it by colour, which then allows it to be used in manufacturing bottles and jars.
"If you can't sort through that based on the colour then we get this mixture of different glass particles with a little bit of other items and we can actually crush it and get what we call glass sand or recycled glass, which is then can be used in road projects," he said.
"Those are the issues we face when glass is mixed with other recycling items in one bin. Basically, the success rate drops and when that drops, when you cannot either sort it out based on colour to reuse it in bottle manufacturing or you cannot crush it with a small amount of foreign material to use it as glass sand.
"Then, ultimately, it goes to landfill and that creates costs for the local government, which is looking after the collection of waste and, of course, the ratepayers."
City of Ballarat director of infrastructure and environment Bridget Wetherall said council would seek feedback from the community to help gauge opinion on glass recycling.
"The roadmap, including community feedback during its development in 2021-22, will also help determine whether residents prefer the glass drop-off sites," she said.
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