Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley is urging Australians to correctly sort their recycling, in an effort to support the waste management industry as it fulfils its role as “an essential environmental service.”
“With a national focus on hygiene, the role of waste and recycling companies and their workers servicing homes, hospitals, building sites and supermarkets underlines the Prime Minister’s declaration that everyone who has a job in this challenging economy is now an essential worker,” she said.
According to Ms Ley, waste companies are working with state and local governments to ensure services continue to meet the needs of all Australians in the wake of COVID-19.
“Help where you can by recycling and reducing waste. It’s our waste, it’s our responsibility,” she said.
Ms Ley’s statement follows earlier calls for industry support, with the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) calling on state governments to provide waste and landfill levy relief to the sector.
NWRIC CEO Rose Read said levy relief is an obvious and necessary measure that can be implemented quickly.
“Specifically, we are asking state governments to waiver landfill levy doubtful debts, put on hold all planned levy increases for at least six months and where appropriate consider waiving current waste and landfill levies for the next three months,” she said.
“We are also asking state and local governments to be more flexible on certain facility license conditions so that social distancing to protect staff can be maintained, and collection time curfews be lifted so that bins can continue to be collected.”