The NSW Government’s Net Zero Plan Stage One: 2020-2030 seeks to achieve net zero emissions from organic waste in landfill by 2030, with targeted actions to support councils improve services and product quality.
“Organic waste, such as food scraps and garden trimmings, makes up about 40 per cent of red-lidded kerbside bins. When sent to landfill, the decomposing material releases methane that may not be captured,” the plan reads.
“However, when this waste is managed effectively, through proper composting and recycling processes, methane emissions can be substantially reduced, soils can be regenerated to store carbon and biogas can be created to generate electricity.”
The plan outlines specific actions including supporting best-practice food and garden waste management infrastructure, and ensuring compost or other organic soils are of the highest quality for land application.
Furthermore, the state government will facilitate the development of waste-to-energy facilities in locations with strong community support, and update regulatory settings to ensure residual emissions from the organic waste industry are offset.
The NSW economy will see over $11.6 billion in private investment and 2400 new jobs as a result of the plan, according to Environment Minister Matt Kean.
“Where there are technologies that can reduce both our emissions and costs for households and businesses, we want to roll them out across the state. Where these technologies are not yet commercial, we want to invest in their development so they will be available in the decades to come,” Mr Kean said.
The plan outlines four key priorities: drive uptake of proven emissions reduction technologies, empower consumers and businesses to make sustainable choices, invest in the next wave of emissions reduction innovation and ensure the NSW Government leads by example.
Mr Kean said roughly two-thirds of the plan’s private investment will be directed at regional and rural NSW, “diversifying local economies that are doing it tough after the drought and devastating bushfire season.”
“Global markets are rapidly changing in response to climate change, with many of the world’s biggest economies and companies committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050. NSW already leads the nation with its economic and investment plans and from today, NSW will lead the nation with its Net Zero Plan,” Mr Kean said.
“Our actions are firmly grounded in science and economics, not ideology, to give our workers and businesses the best opportunity to thrive in a low-carbon world.”
The plan is financially supported by a $2 billion bilateral agreement between the Federal and NSW Government, announced in January 2020.