Media release - New federal targets a great start on recycling solutions

26 September 2018

Work on a new National Waste Policy is a great start for more Federal Government actions on long-term solutions to the recycling crisis highlighted by China’s National Sword Policy, Local Government NSW (LGNSW) said today.

LGNSW President Linda Scott said draft targets to reduce total waste by 10% per capita and divert 80% from landfill were important first steps in developing a comprehensive approach to a growing problem of how to grow recycling.

“Our communities have been very clear – recycling must continue to grow in NSW," Clr Scott said. 

"NSW local governments have been working closely with our state and federal counterparts to develop home-grown solutions to the China National Sword recycling crisis.

“National recycling targets are an important first step. In our work with the federal government on behalf of NSW Councils, LGNSW will continue to push for the application of tax levers and other steps towards a sustainable, circular economy.

“Local governments need a concrete funding commitment to turn the waste crisis into an opportunity to increase recycling.

“LGNSW has consistently argued state-based solutions could be funded via the Waste Levy.

“The NSW Government collected $727 million in waste levies in 2017/18, yet only 18% of the waste levies paid by local government are returned to local government.

“There is currently no transparency on where the rest of this funding is spent.

“On behalf of Councils, LGNSW will continue to call for the waste levy collected from councils to be wholly spent on supporting Councils to undertake recycling and waste management.

“We’ll be focusing a lot of attention on this issue in the run-up to the NSW State Election next March, because if the recycling industry in Australia falters then we all lose.”

Clr Scott said councils were making good process at a local level:  helping to develop markets for recycled glass, paper and plastics; working proactively to improve the quality of what’s in the recycling bin; and reducing recycling contamination levels.

“Recycling is an incredibly important issue for local governments and the communities they serve,” she said.

“We know the community is already doing their bit at a household level, and councils are committed to ensuring household efforts to recycle aren’t – literally – wasted.

“LGNSW will highlight the recycling and waste crisis at its upcoming annual conference in Albury next month, when councils from right across the state come together to develop policy solutions to the issues that impact on the day-to-day lives of NSW residents and ratepayers.”

Media Enquiries
Toni Allan: 0412 774 441