Like many operators in the WARR industry, Local Government NSW has welcomed the news of the federal government $190 million Recycling Monestisation Fund the but says a number of questions remain unanswered.
LGNSW President Linda Scott said NSW councils had long campaigned for a major overhaul of waste and recycling management the RMF was potentially a big step forward.
“Local councils are at the frontline of waste and recycling in NSW, and LGNSW has been advocating on their behalf for urgent changes to the way it is dealt with at Federal and State levels,” Scott said.
“However, we are keen to see the detail of this program. For example, who can apply and what are the requirements for this funding?
“Also, co-funding from State governments and industry is required. However, we are yet to hear if the NSW Government will commit and on what basis,” she said.
Scott described these as essential issues for local councils and recycling facility operators, who are facing increasing pressure to deal with mounting waste and decreasing landfill space.
“We also support calls for this investment to be accompanied by a commitment to create greater demand for recycled materials through government procurement targets.”
“Councils collect and deal with waste and recycling on a weekly basis. It is absolutely critical that any funding arrangements be made in consultation with councils,” Scott added.
She said that through the Save Our Recycling campaign, LGNSW has been calling on the NSW Government on behalf of councils to reinvest the $800 million it collects annually through its Waste Levy back into a solution to the growing waste management crisis.”
Scott said LGNSW was calling on the NSW Government to:
- Provide funding to councils to develop regional waste plans and deliver priority infrastructure;
- Increase procurement of recycled goods made with domestic content and support a circular economy;
- Deliver statewide education campaigns to promote waste avoidance and recycling; and
- Introduce producer responsibility schemes for problematic materials.
“The Federal announcement is a critical step forward in dealing with this issue, but much more needs to be done quickly to fix waste management in our state,” Scott said.