$16 million to secure ratepayers better deal on waste

NSW Environment Protection Authority

Ratepayers in NSW will get better bang for their buck in kerbside bin collection and other waste services, thanks to a NSW Government program that could save councils an estimated $170 million annually through joint waste contracts according to Local Government NSW.

Environment Protection Authority (EPA) CEO Tony Chappel announced the launch of the $16 million service that will help NSW councils join forces and find waste providers who deliver the best value for communities and focus on driving forward the circular economy.

“Councils are at the frontline of waste management in NSW, spending around $1.7 billion each year on waste and recycling services,” Mr Chappel said.

“The EPA ‘s new service will support councils around the State to work together to get the most competitive deal, driving down council costs and ensuring rate payers get the best value for money.

“Finding the best deal on these services can be difficult, especially for councils with small budgets, but our new program will help councils compare waste providers and provide a ‘one-stop-shop’, with a dedicated team providing tailored assistance.

“By lowering costs and simplifying the process, councils can focus their energy on reducing waste in their communities, which in turn, contributes to our circular economy and helps us meet our target of net-zero emissions by 2050.”

The new service is part of a $356 million Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy, which outlines the actions that will be taken to transition towards a circular economy.

From 30 January 2023, councils will have voluntary access to the joint procurement service, including:

  • a funding pool of up to $500,000 per group to help councils access the best advice to jointly procure services
  • an information service via the NSW EPA website to equip councils with high-quality and timely market data and analysis to help them make informed and robust decisions
  • an online library of training and guidance materials so councils can navigate complex contract challenges.

Joint waste contracts can help councils to strategically plan their waste service delivery and infrastructure, ease transaction costs and streamline administrative processes.

“When councils collaborate, communities can be provided with services that may not be available if their councils acted on their own,” Mr Chappel said.

“There’s no better time to support how councils secure their waste services with the expansion of food and garden organic waste programs.”

A group of South West Sydney councils that previously collaborated on their waste services have experienced the benefits first-hand.

Wollondilly Shire Council’s Acting Waste and Environmental Services Manager Paul Macdonald was involved in the successful joint approach and welcomed the launch of this program.

“The result of our joint procurement process was not only the establishment of strategically located infrastructure for the councils, but the long-term certainty of competitive gate fees,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Our experience has shown the benefits of working together is far greater for councils than what would have been achieved individually.

“A larger team managing one contract removes duplication and provides great financial benefits to smaller partner councils with limited resources.”

The voluntary service will be available from 30 January 2023. For more details visit the EPA’s website.

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