With just weeks to go until 2022’s Federal Election, Local Government NSW (LGNSW) is calling for greater funding and support to assist councils to reduce waste sent to landfill and transition to a circular economy.
President Cr Darriea Turley AM said Australia’s councils were calling for:
- $100 million per annum over four years to fund local government circular waste innovation projects,
- Federal guidance and advice on how to unlock the circular economy locally, particularly in rural, regional, and remote areas, and
- Funding to investigate and, if feasible, implement a national bin harmonisation program that will improve kerbside recycling, reduce contamination, and maximise opportunities for reuse.
If funded, these priorities would create 797 jobs and add $136 million a year to Australia’s GDP.
“There has been a growing waste and recycling crisis in NSW, and LGNSW has consistently advocated for investment in better waste, recycling and circular economy solutions,” Cr Turley said.
“Accessible landfills are becoming scarce, waste and recycling management is a huge obstacle for regional and rural councils, and costs continue to surge.
“A circular economy looks at replacing old ways of production where we make, use and dispose of items without a lot of thought of the impact on our waste stream or the environment.
“It saves inefficient production, reduces the need for more costly waste infrastructure and promotes economic and environmental sustainability for our LGAs.
“Transitioning to a circular economy will see costs for businesses slashed, support for new industries and the creation of jobs, especially in our regions, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our councils have already been leading the way for their communities through innovative programs and hosting information sessions for households and businesses to highlight the importance of waste reduction.
“But we need more support from the Federal Government to unlock the circular economy, particularly in our regional and rural areas.”
Cr Turley also said there was a strong need for the Federal Government to look at ways to have bin harmonisation.
“We need to make sure that introducing a standardised bin collection service doesn’t increase any costs, in turn affecting our communities,” she said.
“Councils best understand their communities as well as what waste and recycling services are needed in their areas.
“The Government needs to work with councils through providing funding and support to improve our waste and recycling services, ensuring a healthier future for our communities.”