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Pandemic habits push struggling waste sector to the brink

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Article image for Pandemic habits push struggling waste sector to the brink

The surge in home-delivered food and online shopping during COVID-19 has put extra strain on Victoria’s already stretched waste disposal sector.

An Infrastructure Victoria report has found Victorians are producing five per cent more household waste per person than they were pre-pandemic.

Chief of Policy and Research from Infrastructure Australia, Peter Colacino, says the pandemic has led to the reversal a long-running decline in waste.

“That comes off the back of a year-on-year decline in personal waste for the last 12 years,” he told Stephen Quartermain and Tony Leonard.

There are concerns the new habits, which are driving up household waste volumes, may not stop with the end of the pandemic.

“It’s difficult to see how people’s appetite for online shopping and e-commerce will decline post-COVID, as people have got used to shopping online and people understand the convenience of it as an alternative,” Mr Colacino said.

“That could actually be part of a broader transition of people spending less time shopping face-to-face and spending more time shopping online.”

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