Remember a few months ago, the news reports about China no longer accepting our recycling? Well that problem has not gone away, but local government across NSW are proposing a path to a solution.
The Upper Hunter Shire Council and many others, are calling for the NSW Government’s Environmental and Waste Levy to be 100 per cent reinvested in waste minimisation, recycling and resource recovery in NSW.
Currently only 18% of the approximately $300 million collected from local government each year is reinvested in recycling and waste management.
All the Waste Levy funds should be used to support innovative solutions, develop markets for recycled materials and undertake initiatives to reduce and reuse waste. There is potential for economic growth, new infrastructure, new technology and new jobs, particularly in our regional areas.
At the December 2018 ordinary meeting Councillors voted unanimously to join the Local Government NSW Save Our Recycling campaign.
Council is writing to the major parties seeking bipartisan support before the March election, for re-investing 100% of Waste Levy proceeds into local resource recovery.
For the last nine years Council has strongly objected to the waste levy. For every tonne of waste from kerbside collections or the Waste Management Facilities, Council has to pay the NSW Government $81.30 (which increases each year).
This cost is passed onto residents through fees at the Waste Management Facilities and rates for household waste collections.
The waste levy applies in only some areas of NSW and is not applied to our northern and western neighbours.
Upper Hunter Shire Council paid $4.78 million in waste levies ($3.51m from landfill sites and $1.27m from kerbside bins) from 2009 to 2018. Council received back $1.1m in funding to assist with waste management and recycling infrastructure, programs and education. What was achieved included the Community Recycling Centre, waste education workshops and equipment, waste education in local primary schools by the Keep NSW Beautiful Waste Educators, auditing of kerbside waste and recycling and improvements to waste management reporting to state government.
We encourage residents to join the campaign at https://saveourrecycling.com.au/