NSW targets zero organics in landfill by 2030

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.

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WM Waste Management introduces electric waste trucks

A new waste contract with WM Waste Management has seen the introduction of several electric waste collection vehicles in the City of Casey in Melbourne.

The trucks, produced by Superior Pak in collaboration with SEA Electric, are the first of their kind to be designed and manufactured in Australia.

City of Casey Mayor Amanda Stapledon said the vehicles represent a move towards carbon neutral hard-waste collection, less noise and more liveable streets.

Each waste truckload is estimated to save 180 kilograms of carbon dioxide, when compared with an equivalent diesel truck.

The vehicles are solely battery powered and have a charge life of five hours.

WM Waste Management Managing Director Mark Jeffs said it was vital for essential services to lead the way in going carbon neutral.

“Electric trucks are a key demonstration of our support for renewable energy as they significantly reduce our environmental footprint, and improve the sustainability of residential hard waste collection,” Mr Jeffs said.

“It’s massively important. We need to be doing this for our grandkids and for the next generation to continue living on this planet.”

Mr Jeffs said WM Waste Management hope to introduce more battery powered vehicles in the future, after evaluating their success in the City of Casey.

One truck has started collections, with two more to follow in the coming weeks.

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