War On Waste


As anyone who has been to QMF will know, we live in a special place - pristine beaches, soaring sandstone cliffs and internationally recognised bays and wetlands. Queenscliff is a spectacular place to stage a music festival.

You will also be aware there's been huge changes within the waste industry which impacts on what we put in the bin.

In 2018, QMF set out to review the impact the Festival聽has on the environment and put in place a plan for the future. Our goal, to divert 80% of waste generated at the Festival from landfill. We smashed it - see the results below.聽

2019 - Going re-usable!

This year we鈥檙e going one step further. On top of improvements to our 2018 setup, we are moving our food and drinks onto re-usable plates, bowls, cups and cutlery (think shopping centre style). This will further reduce the waste generated at the festival.

This means most of the food and drinks (excluding beer/wine/cocktails) you consume at the event聽will be served on good quality crockery or cups made out of re-usable and sustainable rice husk to compliment our existing re-usable beer and wine cups. Once used our team will run them through the commercial dishwashing facility on site to ensure clean and hygienic crockery and cups are returned for your use.聽This is being provided to you free of charge.

To assist us in this, all we ask is:

  • Once you've finished your meal/drink (excluding beer/wine/cocktails) please take your crockery and cups to one of our bin hubs where聽our team will collect them.
  • If you have any uneaten food on your plates, scrape it into the compost bin before depositing your crockery
  • Please DO NOT take any of these items (especially the coffee cups) home with you聽as a souvenir! We want to continue to provide this service for you free of charge in the years to come however each lost item costs.
  • If you see a lonely plate left behind on a table or on the ground, pick it up and hand it in at a bin hub - your assistance is greatly appreciated!

Our long-term wine partner Scotchman's Hill has also been busy looking at ways we can reduce waste related to wine whilst maintaining the award winning quality of their products. We're pleased to say聽they've found a way. We thank them for their shared commitment to waste minimisation at the Festival.

We are pleased to advise local community food project Feed Me Bellarine will be collecting spare聽food and excess produce from vendors each day and delivering these to those within our community most at need.聽

We also acknowledge and thank our awesome war on waste partners - Caring for our Bays, B. Alternative, Bellarine Catchment Network and Barwon South West Waste and Resource Recovery Group for their ongoing support, advice and commitment聽

Help us to make a difference by:

This year we're rolling out re-usable plate, cutlery and cup system聽utilising聽commercial dishwashing facilities. Please return these to our Bin Hubs once you've finished your meal.

We鈥檝e been working hard with our Food Stalls in an effort to divert waste from landfill by turning it into compost! Once you've finished your meal, please scrape all scraps into the compost bins at the Bin Hub. Any food not served on our reusable plates, bowls and cups will be served on compostable service ware - this can all go into our compost bins -聽easy for you - great for the environment.

All of our Beer & Wine Cups, Carafes are re-usable, and our cocktail cups are compostable. Our QMF food stalls will only be selling cans of soft drink / juice etc. There are plenty of water refill stations throughout the festival, so please #BYOBottle

- BYO a reusable drink bottle to QMF
- Follow the instructions of our friendly Green Team volunteers at the Festival. They'll be at our bin stations helping you put things in the correct bin!
- Don't drop your rubbish on the ground - bin stations are located near each stage
- Avoid bringing in to the Festival any soft plastics including plastic bottles, bags, cling wrap etc.
- If you're a smoker, please be considerate of your fellow festival goers and use the designated smoking area near the Hippos Stage.


How'd we go?

We worked closely with local experts聽and organisations聽in the environment and waste sectors to develop a plan that would see REAL CHANGE in the way waste is handled at a large event and provide a blue print for other events.

The Festival exceeded its targets, achieving a landfill diversion rate of 90.07% - sending the equivalent of just 32 wheelie bins of waste to landfill!

Key stats:

  • QMF achieved a 90.7% landfill diversion rate
  • 42% of this was organics which was turned into compost for re-use.聽
  • The equivalent of just 32 wheelie bins of waste was sent to landfill
  • By using reusable and fully compostable coffee cups (including the lids), over 2,500 single use coffee cups we removed from landfill.聽
  • By using compostable food service ware (plates, cutlery etc) QMF offset 4 tonnes of carbon emissions and avoided 592kg of plastic being made
  • QMF turned 210kg of soft plastics collected into 3 picnic tables for community use throughout the year (currently on loan to the local Football/Netball club).

We want to thank our war on waste partners in Caring for our Bays and B. Alternative for their support, advice and commitment in achieving these results.


We received loads of great feedback such as:

"The treatment of waste was superb this year - volunteers at bins was excellent and I hardly saw any single use water bottles - good on you and well done."
"Well done for your efforts on the War on Waste this Festival. The volunteers at the waste bins was an excellent way to make sure the right bins were used."
"The angels at the War on Waste bins were fabulous and I told many of them so. A well thought out system implemented in a way that made me feel like I was part of a good thing."
"Great festival, l was a green team volunteer and 99 % of the public were congratulating us on our job and the cause we were promoting. quite a lot of people saw how we can change our rubbish practices."


Our plan was based on simple premise:

  1. Get the right people on the bus
  2. Have a plan
  3. Have the hard conversations
  4. Communicate
  5. Celebrate the wins.
1.聽 We used existing measures and models as a baseline, in particular the Hierarchy of Waste Reduction


We created a process of continual review.

  • Consultation was key - we鈥檙e event organisers by trade, not experts in waste minimisation. We consulted widely and engaged the services of people that live and breathe this area.聽
  • Create a waste profile. We researched the waste that we generate, the waste similar events create and considered what we were likely to generate in the future.
  • Considered which waste streams we could reduce, limit or remove altogether.
  • Considered what we had control over (ie waste generated on site vs waste brought onto the site)
  • Considered what streams could re-used or recycled and what we needed to do to achieve that.


What fell out of that for us was that in year 1, separation would be key.

We identified a number of streams we could capture, worked out how these could be captured and what resources (infrastructure and labour) would be required to achieve this.


The plan was that we would setup 5 x manned bin hubs across the site - reducing the number of bins front of house from over 100 to 40.聽

  • Manning of these hubs would be key to ensuring minimal contamination and strong patron engagement.聽
  • We were keen to tie the design of the hubs in with the local Caring for our Bays engagement campaigns by incorporating their imagery and messaging.聽
  • We worked extensively with contractors聽to determine the resourcing required to achieve our targets.

We trialled聽new technologies such as the conversion of plastic waste from the event (ie plastic wrap around beer slabs, pallet wrap and ice bags) into community assets in picnic tables - diverting all this waste from landfill. It鈥檚 a transition technology however it played an important part in use achieving our aims. These picnic benches are now聽loaned to the community for use all聽year round

聽If you would like any further information on QMF's War on Waste, please contact our office via customerservice(at)qmf.net.au or 03 5258 4816.

QMF's War on Waste Partners

We sincerely thank our awesome war on waste partners for their ongoing support, advice and commitment to our aims in minimising waste at the Festival.

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