New NSW report highlights waste management improvement

New NSW report highlights waste management improvement

The New South Wales community is embracing recycling and cleaner energy technologies but the legacy of drought, bushfires and climate change has left a mark on the environment, according to the latest State of the Environment report.

Prepared every three years, the NSW State of the Environment reports on the status of key environmental issues facing New South Wales. The report is structured around six environmental themes: Drivers, Human Settlement, Climate and Air, Land, Biodiversity, Water and Marine

According to the report, the state has seen a drop in littering of 43 per cent over the past six years and 64 per cent of waste was diverted for recycling in 2019-20. Additionally, Greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 were 17 per cent lower than in 2005.

The NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More program has also continued to be effective in managing waste, with new recycling facilities opening for problem wastes.

NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Acting Chief Executive Officer Jacqueleine Moore said keeping track of the changing data had never been more important.

“The latest instalment of this three-yearly report captures the impact of the devastating 2019-20 bushfires and the drought which damaged our native animal numbers, water quality and air quality, and topsoil,” Moore said.

“The State of the Environment covers 22 topics with data sourced from 11 different government bodies. It helps policy makers inform the right programs to target current and future environmental challenges.”

The future environmental challenges highlighted in the report include addressing the impacts of Sydney’s growing population on waste generation, water usage, natural resources and land clearing.

To view the report, click here.

 

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$2 million to help keep NSW litter free

Community groups, councils, Regional Waste Groups, and businesses across New South Wales can now access $2 million in grants to help clean-up and prevent litter in their local area. Read more

NSW opens $1.5M grants to tackle illegal dumping

The NSW Government is encouraging councils, public land managers and community groups to apply for grants to tackle illegal dumping in their local area.

The grants are a part of the NSW Combating Illegal Dumping Clean-up and Prevention program, which has awarded $6.7 million to projects to combat illegal dumping since the program commenced.

According to Circular Economy and Resource Management Executive Director Sanjay Sridher, illegally dumped waste clean ups costs millions of dollars in taxpayers money each year.

“We want to see as many applicants as possible apply for funding, with previous grants being put to great use to tackle local dumping hotspots,” he said.

“This has included the installation of gates, signs, surveillance cameras and fencing to tackle illegal dumping, along with the removal of thousands of tonnes of illegally dumped waste.

“I encourage any councils, public land managers or community groups that want to tackle an illegal dumping problem in their area to visit the website and apply for one of these grants.”

Funded under the Waste Less Recycle More initiative and administered by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), grants can be used to implement prevention and clean-up action on publicly managed land, or to establish illegal dumping baseline data.

An additional $1.17 million is also available for community groups, councils and businesses to address litter in their local area through DPIE’s community litter and cigarette butt litter prevention programs.

The litter grants can be used to fund a number of litter initiatives including community education and engagement, clean-ups and new bin infrastructure, with programs aimed at addressing littering and strengthening the capacity of communities to take local ownership.

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NSW allocates $1M to tackle local litter

The NSW Government is calling on councils and industry groups to apply for more than $1 million in grants to tackle litter in their local area.

A total of $1.17 million – comprising $670,000 for round six of the Community Litter Grants and $500,000 for the inaugural Cigarette Butt Litter Prevention Grants – is available to councils, businesses and organisations.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said more than 200 projects have been funded under the program, with some recording up to 80 per cent litter reduction in their targeted hotspot.

“Cigarettes butts are consistently the most littered item in NSW every year. I look forward to seeing innovative projects to help reduce the millions of butts littered each year and by doing so, cleaning up our environment,” he said.

According to Mr Kean, the community grants can be used to fund a number of litter initiatives including community education and engagement, clean-ups, new bins, promoting programs aimed at addressing littering, and strengthening the capacity of environmental groups working in the sector.

“Our community groups and councils are fantastic partners to assist with tackling litter. It is local communities who know their litter hotspots and can develop practical and effective solutions,” he said.

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NSW awards litter prevention grants

The NSW Government has awarded more than $930,000 to councils and community groups under the latest round of litter prevention grants.

Planning, Industry and Environment Department Circular Economy Executive Director Sanjay Sridher said funding has been awarded to 13 local councils in both metro and regional NSW.

“They include cleaning up and preventing litter at transport interchanges in Blacktown, preventing litter at tourist hotspots in Byron Bay and funding for solar smart bins in Forbes, which will send an alert to the council when a bin is full,” he said.

“Nobody likes to see litter in their parks or waterways, and tackling the problem at a local level – through the councils and groups that really know the area – is an effective way to prevent litter for the long term.”

According to Mr Sridher, eight community groups have also received funding.

Projects include reducing plastic at Lake Macquarie Cafes, support for the Airds Clean Up Crew in the Macarthur area and helping Tathra Surf Life Saving Club with its clean-up and litter patrols.

“Now it’s a matter of making sure the right programs are in place to clean-up hotspots and give tossers a nudge when it comes to disposing of rubbish properly,” Mr Sridher said.

The grants program is supported by NSW’s first litter prevention strategy, which sets out actions and timeframes to achieve the state government’s target to reduce the volume of litter in NSW by 40 per cent by 2020.

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TAS Govt discuss waste management strategies

Waste industry experts and stakeholders have come together in Tasmania to discuss current waste management issues at the Tasmanian Waste and Resource Recovery Forum.

The forum aims to give the waste and recycling industry a chance to discuss issues around waste policy following China’s implementation of the National Sword policy.

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Discussions at the forum focus around waste and resource recovery settings for Tasmania, waste avoidance and reduction, innovations in waste management and bringing a circular economy to Tasmania.

Held by the Waste Management Association of Australia, the forum follows consultation by the Tasmanian Government on its new waste strategy – the Tasmanian Waste Action Plan.

The state government has outlined several commitments and targets to reduce packaging waste, boost consumer awareness through industry, increase recycling capacity and boost demand though market development.

Other targets include making Tasmania the tidiest state with the lowest incidence of litter in Australia by 2023 by increasing penalties for illegal dumping, expanding the reporting of litter offences through an illegal rubbish app, providing additional support for Keep Australia Beautiful Tasmania and using Community Service Orders for rubbish removals from public areas.

The draft of the Tasmanian Waste Action Plan is expected to be released for public consultation in early 2019.

QLD State of the Environment report highlights interstate waste

The Queensland Government has released its 2018 State of the Environment report, highlighting interstate waste as a pressure on the state’s landfills.

Relatively low costs of landfill disposal in Queensland are said to be the motivator for cross-border flow of waste in the report.

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More than 1.26 million tonnes of domestic waste, 2.146 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste (C&D), and 1.443 million tonnes of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste was sent to landfill in 2016-17.

Of this, 53,000 tonnes of domestic waste, 640,000 tonnes of C&D waste and 23,000 tonnes of C&I waste was generated interstate and transported to Queensland landfills.

The amount of trackable waste received from interstate also increased from around 13,000 tonnes in 2011-12 to 52,200 tonnes in 2015-16.

Littering and illegal dumping is also highlighted as a serious environmental pressure, with reports suggesting the problem as widespread throughout Queensland.

The average number of litter items was found to be higher in Queensland than other Australian stats, particularly at beaches, retail strips and recreational areas.

Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the increase in the amount of interstate waste was proof that that Queensland needed a waste levy.

“The state government’s waste management strategy will stop interstate waste and increase investment in the industry to encourage more recycling and create jobs,” Ms Enoch said.

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