The decision to push back COAG’s export ban on unprocessed glass does not alleviate the urgent need for recycling reform in NSW, according to Local Government NSW (LGNSW).
Councils and the alternative waste treatment (AWT) industry can apply for $20 million in funding from the NSW Government to improve kerbside waste recycling.
According to Environment Minister Matt Kean, the funding is part of the state government’s $24 million AWT transition package, designed to help councils and industry achieve better food and organics waste separation and innovate how they recycle.
The funding follows the NSW EPA’s 2018 decision to restrict the use of mixed waste organics outputs (MWOO).
“It aims to support councils and the industry to plan and introduce separate food and organics waste services at the kerbside, making the most of the valuable resource that is household food and garden waste,” Mr Kean said.
“This is about the government supporting innovative, sustainable resource recovery of general waste that will be environmentally, socially and economically beneficial.”
Available funding includes $12.5 million via the Organics Collections grants program, $5 million in Local Council Transition grants and $2.51 million in Research and Development grants for new or alternative uses for general waste.
Local Government NSW President Linda Scott said councils want to work with the NSW and Federal Governments to save recycling, minimise waste and build a circular economy.
“This much-needed funding will assist councils and council-led AWT industries to help keep food and garden waste out of landfill – a goal that we share with Environment Minister Matt Kean to support our environment,” she said.
“I welcome this new NSW Government funding to support recycling in our communities, as only in partnership can we ensure we save recycling in NSW.”
The Organics Collections grants program aims help councils impacted by MWOO regulatory changes switch to garden only or food and garden organics collection services, with individual grants of up to $1.3 million.
A total of $16 million is available under this funding round, with an additional $3.5 million available to non-affected councils.
Similarly, Local Council Transition grants aim to support councils impacted by MWOO regulatory changes with a range of project options, including strategic planning, options assessment, community engagement, rolling out new organics collection services or improving their existing organics services.
Research and Development grants are designed to support initiatives to develop alternative end markets or new products for general waste, either to accelerate or enhance existing projects or fund new research and development.
An additional $3.75 million for processing infrastructure is scheduled to open for applications next month through the Organics Infrastructure Large and Small program.
The West Nowra Landfill expansion and Visy’s Dry Recyclables Facility have been named in the first tranche of NSW Planning System Acceleration Program projects.