Local Council Innovation


1 hour and 30 minutes


This session will look at what is happening at both the State and local level to revolutionise waste. Hear firstly, from the Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change on initiatives being rolled out on a State level followed by our Council innovation panel. You will hear from several councils on how they created initiatives and services to create behavioural and operational change towards waste and recycling in the community.



Mike Ritchie
Managing Director
MRA Consulting Group

Mike is one of Australia’s leading waste experts. With 25 years’ experience in the environmental and waste sector, Mike combines complex technical expertise and business knowledge. As a former senior executive for Visy, SUEZ and WSN, Mike has become one of the sector’s most recognised strategic thinkers, advising governments and business on waste and recycling. As MRA’s Managing Director, Mike provides extensive insight into the economics, policy constraints, issues and challenges of Australia’s waste and recycling sector, whilst working toward economically sensible environmental reforms. Mike's goal is to help make waste management economically rational and environmentally sustainable.


The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change; Minister for Solar Homes
Government of Victoria

Liliana (Lily) D’Ambrosio is a member of the Australian Labor Party and has represented the electorate of Mill Park in the Victorian Legislative Assembly since 2002. She was appointed the Minister for Industry and Minister for Energy and Resources following the election of the Andrews Labor Government in 2014. In 2016 she became Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Suburban Development.


Giorgio Baracchi
CEO and Co-Founder

Giorgio Baracchi has worked as a Manager for Bain & Company and for BC Strategy on a number of corporate growth strategies, business unit strategies, commercial due diligence engagements and market reports. His experience spans across several industries such as Waste management, Financial Services, Education and Telecommunications. He studied in different countries, such as Australia, China, Europe and the USA, where he gained his MBA from University of Texas. He has experience in managing teams that work directly with senior executives by undertaking data collection, analysis, modelling and data presentation. He has work experience within Australia and overseas, specifically in the USA and Europe. He has extensive experience in the Waste Management industry where he has worked on different projects along the value chain for the last ten years. He is active in the start-up community as an advisor and angel investor.

Presentation: Case Study with Randwick Council

Melinda Scaringi
Ellis Jones

As a communicator focused on impact, Melinda delivers campaigns, strategy and research that make a difference. She brings deep knowledge across challenging spaces, including waste, energy, environment, and public policy. She has 15 years’ experience spanning the public service, not-for-profit sector and consultancy, where her singular focus has been on understanding people – through research – and moving people – through communications. As a director at Ellis Jones, Melinda has led campaign work with local, state and federal governments, including the award-winning Yarra Waste Revolution, and consulted to industry bodies, not-for-profits and major companies. Melinda is a director at Ellis Jones, a multidisciplinary agency creating social impact through award-winning research, strategy, communications and design. She is also on the Environment Portfolio Advisory Committee with the City of Moonee Valley, and a non-executive director on the board of the Yarra Energy Foundation.

Presentation: Bringing together a community to revolutionise waste: the Yarra Waste Revolution

Lisa Coffa
Senior Waste Minimisation Advisor
City of Yarra

Lisa is the Senior Waste Minimisation Advisor at the City of Yarra. She is highly skilled in the field of sustainability with over 25 years’ experience. Lisa started in sustainable land management, moving to water conservation, community education/engagement and finally landed with her real passion, waste minimisation and resource recovery management. Early on her focus was on the development of strategic approaches for waste minimisation, community engagement and liaising with community, business and government stakeholders across Yarra. Now she has a particular focus on waste avoidance, and advocating for the creation of a circular economy across Council and Government Agencies. She is regularly sought by both Councils and the government sector to influence and advocate for this new more circular approach to waste management.

Presentation: Bringing together a community to revolutionise waste: the Yarra Waste Revolution

Natasza Letowt-Vorbek
Coordinator Waste Contracts and Projects
City of Boroondara

Natasza has worked in waste for over 25 years, starting her own recycling collection service aged 19 in the UK. Being a soil and composting nerd, she was asked to pilot the UK’s food waste kerbside collection and in-vessel composting technology for 4 London Boroughs in 2004. Over the course of her journey she has worked as an Operations Manager, Waste to Resources Project Manager, Waste Contracts Manager, and Strategic Waste Officer at a number of councils in the UK and Australia, and at the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group. In 2016 Natasza oversaw the installation of 40,000 FOGO bins and collection service in Bendigo, which continues to divert 10,000 tonnes a year of organic waste from landfill. She is responsible for running the kerbside recycling services and waste contracts for Boroondara, and in May this year implemented their FOGO weekly kerbside collections and change to fortnightly garbage service.

Presentation: FOGO Case Study - Little Change Big Difference

Thomas Bloomfield
Coordinator Resource Recovery
Macedon Ranges Shire Council 

Tom has 15 years experience in the waste and environmental sector in the UK and Australia. He has worked as a consultant providing advice to clients on waste reduction, resource recovery, design and approvals processes for waste infrastructure and environmental compliance, as well as environmental and sustainability advisory roles on a range of infrastructure projects spanning transport, water and waste. Tom is currently the Coordinator Resource Recovery at Macedon Ranges Shire Council where he leads the delivery of waste and resource recovery services and has recently overseen the introduction of council’s FOGO and kerbside glass collection services.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council launched its “Let’s Get Sorted” campaign in January 2020 to introduce major changes to the kerbside collection system: a compulsory shire-wide kerbside glass bin, and a compulsory FOGO - Food organics, garden organics bin within townships. These changes followed an extensive planning phase involving trialling of kerbside glass collection and public place drop-off points and options modelling and analysis for both FOGO and glass services.  Clear and effective communication was essential to the success of the transition which also saw the shire move from weekly to fortnightly general waste collection and weekly FOGO collection. The changes have resulted in an increase in landfill diversion from 45% to 67%.

Presentation: Macedon Ranges Shire Council - Let's get it sorted campaign