Capire assisted council through a three-stage engagement program which sought input from the community into a reformed waste service.


Merri-bek Kerbside Waste Reform


In 2021, the Victorian Government announced that all local councils must move to a 4-bin service, separating garbage, food and garden organics (FOGO), recycling and glass. In line with this, Merri-bek City Council is planning to change its waste service, moving to a 4-bins as required, as well as looking at the size of bins and how often bins are collected across the municipality. The changes will also affect hard waste collection and how ratepayers are charged for the service.

Capire assisted council through a three-stage engagement program which sought to seek input from the community into a reformed waste service as well as build awareness of issues relating to waste and how individuals and households can be part of the solution. The three stages of engagement included:
Stage 1: Sharing the problem of waste
Stage 2: Teasing out the issues and introducing options for a reformed waste service
Stage 3: Presenting proposed changes and seeking feedback on a draft Kerbside Waste Services and Charges Policy

All three stages of engagement were delivered during Covid-19 lockdowns and relied on online engagement activities and online and printed promotion. The engagement approach was anchored around community surveys and cohort workshops in Stage 2 and Stage 3, as well as the establishment of a Waste Champions network that will assist council through ongoing education and implementation stages of the project.

Over three stages of engagement, Capire and Council:

  • Received over 3,000 survey responses
  • Conducted 13 online community workshops with more than 60 participants from across the Merri-bek community
  • Received and responded to almost 200 phone calls and emails
  • Registered more than 100 community Waste Champions


  • Client
    Merri-bek City Council
  • Year Completed
  • Location
  • Case study


This high response rate made the Kerbside Waste Reform Project one of the biggest engagement programs delivered by Council to date and highlighted that the issue of waste is important to the Merri-bek community.

Over the three stages of engagement, the project received a lot of attention both from supporters and those opposed to change. As such, design and reporting of engagement processes and outcomes included significant focus on the ‘why’ behind community sentiment towards waste and proposed changes, and how the engagement approach was designed to hear from all parts of the Merri-bek community.