NSW Government endorses ‘Organics Revolution’

The NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041: (Stage 1 – 2021-2027) has endorsed diversion of organic waste from landfill to deliver substantive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from NSW landfills.

By making FOGO services mandatory in NSW the government will prevent over 2.5 per cent of NSW total greenhouse gas emissions from occurring.

Organic waste in landfill decomposes anaerobically to generate methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas and 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

By mandating FOGO bins to all households (and selected large commercial food generators) the government will create an alternative pathway for organics to go back into compost for the benefit of farmers and households.

MRA called for just such an “Organics Revolution” over 10 years ago with an emphasis on FOGO implementation.

MRA congratulates the Hon Matt Kean MP Minister for Energy and Environment for delivering this crucial piece of policy.

The strategy also aims to create value by targeting the economic opportunities associated with recycling and the circular economy.

The Stage 1 Strategy has a number of other positive initiatives including:

  1. Endorsement of the National Waste Policy Target of 80 per cent diversion from landfill by 2030.
  2. Mandated landfill gas capture.
  3. Continuation of funding for Community Recycling Centres.
  4. Infrastructure gap analysis for glass, plastic, fibre, tyres etc.
  5. Purchasing policies of government prioritising recycled content and closing the loop.
  6. Banning particular plastic products.
  7. Fostering councils jointly procuring waste management services.

Read more: FOGO as high-strength construction material?

Importantly however the Strategy leaves a number of critical issues to future reviews or plans. These include:

  1. The role and magnitude of the landfill levy, required to achieve the 80 per cent target.
  2. The role and extent of EfW to meet those targets.
  3. The need for 3MT of inert residual waste disposal capacity in Greater Sydney by 2028.
  4. The requirement to process or dispose of putrescible waste when those landfills expire in 2036.
  5. Facilitating commercial waste “dirty MRF” development as required by the Strategy without additional commercial incentives.
  6. The expenditure of the landfill levy.
  7. How the problems with the Planning system will be resolved to allow infrastructure investment in a timely fashion.