Waste Management is a major responsibility for councils, and is significant socially, environmentally and economically.
Council Waste Management and recycling also represent attempts, generally at the 'tail end' of the production cycle, to reduce the environmental impact of production.
The LGSA (now Local Government NSW) have long advocated for the requirement for producers to be required to take a greater responsibility for their commodities, so that there will be less waste to deal with, and so that the environmental impacts of waste will be reduced. This is often called 'Extended Producer Responsibility' (EPR) or 'Life Cycle Responsibility'.
This goes far beyond just encouraging recycling, or measuring our progress in terms of the increase in recycling rates. As Local Government does not have the statutory power to require producers to take responsibility, a major role of the LGSA is to advocate and lobby on behalf of councils for the following issues to be addressed:
- Responsible packaging design and EPR for packaging waste.
- Container Deposit Legislation (CDL).
- Support to councils for the management of sharps and other medical waste.
- A responsible system of retailer shopping trolley management.
- A national, industry funded e-waste scheme.
- The impact of the Clean Energy Futures (carbon price) on larger council landfills.
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) is also the voice for Local Government on a number of State and National waste policy committees and working groups relating to waste management, recycling, waste education and other initiatives to reduce the impact of waste on the environment and to reduce the financial impact on councils of waste.