This month’s commitment by 11 southern Sydney councils to recycle 45 million glass bottles and buy more recycled material is a powerful example of how councils are leading the charge in creating a circular economy, Local Government NSW (LGNSW) said today.
LGNSW President Linda Scott said the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) signed an agreement to work together to buy more recycled material, such as repurposed glass to use as alternative road making material, as part of efforts to support the recycling industry.
“With export bans on waste material quickly approaching and stockpiles of recycled resources growing in NSW, it is critical to improve waste management practices and boost markets for recyclable materials,” Cr Scott said.
“The commitment of these inner-city councils is a glowing example of how local government can lead the charge in creating a circular economy – an economic system that eliminates waste through continual use and recycling of resources.
“This initiative is an example of what LGNSW aims to achieve through it’s Save Our Recycling campaign, which calls on the NSW Government to work with councils to turn the State’s growing waste management and recycling crisis into an opportunity to recover resources for productive re-use as well as create jobs.
“We need to develop an economy where waste is seen as a product, not a problem.”
In its ‘At the crossroads: The state of waste and recycling in NSW’ report, LGNSW calls on the NSW Government to take the hundreds of millions of dollars it collects through the Waste Levy – designed as a disincentive to landfill – and reinvest it in:
- Increasing local and state government procurement of recycled goods made with domestic content;
- Delivering a state-wide education campaign on the importance of recycling to encourage the right way to recycle, the purchase of products with recycled content, and promoting waste avoidance;
- Funding councils to develop regional plans for the future of waste and resource recovery in their regions; and
- Priority infrastructure and other local projects needed to deliver the regional-scale plans, particularly where a market failure has been identified.
“This band of councils have demonstrated what councils can achieve for waste management and recycling when they work together,” Cr Scott said.
“We have a real opportunity to partner with the government to create jobs and sustainable industries that drive economic development not just in southern Sydney but across our regions.
“This week is National Recycling Week, the perfect time to turn our attention to the need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to NSW’s waste and recycling future.”
The 11 member councils of SSROC are: Bayside, Burwood, Canada Bay, Canterbury Bankstown, City of Sydney, Georges River, Inner West, Randwick, Sutherland, Waverley, and Woollahra.