Local Government NSW (LGNSW) is calling on the state government to fast-track its commitment to fund constructive and future-focused recycling measures in this year’s budget.
LGNSW President Linda Scott said the sector welcomed the government’s long-term proposals to tackle the use of plastics, reduce waste and increase recycling, but increased investment “must start now.”
“The government’s proposed review of the waste levy is great news, but the national waste ban targets designed to reduce waste start on 1 July. There is no time to lose,” she said.
“For two years, councils have been asking for the waste levy (estimated at $800 million this year) to be reinvested for the purposes it is collected.”
According to Ms Scott, this year’s $800 million waste levy should be immediately invested in maintaining and improving kerbside recycling options throughout the state.
“Communities cannot be expected to continue to underwrite the increasing costs associated with our growing waste problems, including increased stockpiles of recyclable waste,” she said.
“The levy needs to be spent on local resource recovery and reprocessing infrastructure projects that can be put in place in this year’s budget to reduce the prospect of stockpiles of rubbish in our streets.”
Ms Scott said a well-funded and coordinated plan that leverages the buying power of all levels of government is a good first step, and long overdue.
“It’s time to rewrite existing regulations and procurement policies, which we know continue to stymy innovation and the development of new recycled products and markets,” she said.