How is the NSW EPA’s decision to ban mixed waste organics affecting the industry months on? Waste Management Review investigates.
A NSW ReachTel poll has shown strong support for red bin recycling, with 93 per cent supporting the recycling industry and 79 per cent supporting the use of organics on farm use.
The poll, conducted in mid-February with 1546 representative respondents, affirms the NSW Government’s move to protect the future of the alternative waste treatment (AWT) industry, according to the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR.)
The poll comes months after the NSW EPA announced it was stopping the restricted use of mixed waste organic material on agricultural land after comprehensive independent studies into potential health risks.
Media reports indicate that NSW Government Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton wrote to the state’s major recycling companies to reveal the government was awaiting expert advice to determine the future use of mixed waste organics.
The poll shows that 92.8 per cent agree that reducing waste and recycling products into new products and uses is important, 78.6 per cent support the use of “organic material for farm use and land rehabilitation,” and 87.3 per cent support “increasing recycling and reducing landfill by processing food and garden material from rubbish bins into useful products.”
ACOR CEO Pete Shmigel said the community overwhelmingly supports the treatment and recovery of household residual material and its diversion from landfill.
He added that this has been the practice by AWT operators in NSW for 18 years prior to a pre-emptive government decision to delete the practice, alluding to the ban on mixed waste organic outputs.
“It’s pointless to send valuable material to landfill and to miss out on the benefits to farms, mine sites, the environment, and jobs,” Mr Shmigel said.
The results show participants were primarily concerned with increased landfill and pollution in the environment.
Mr Shmigel said the next step after the NSW election is for the government and the EPA to collaborate with industry on the details and delivery of a revived AWT sector.