News Satire People Food Other

Local Councils Combine To Combat Excessive Waste

By Ben Graham on December 10, 2013 in News

Picture: Waverley COuncil

Picture: Waverley COuncil

Randwick and Waverley will be two of the greenest regions in Sydney when it comes to waste disposal as the local councils and residents pave the way with state-of-the-art facilities and innovative ideas.

Last month, Veolia Environmental Services signed a contract with Waverley Council to treat or recycle household waste at a new Banksmeadow facility.

The plant will be built by 2016, taking in household waste from five local councils and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by up to 60 percent.

Waverley Council believes that the facility will help the area exceed the state government target of a 66 percent reduction in waste diversion from landfill.

Waverley is one of eight councils that signed the joint contract as part of the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC).

Waverley Mayor Sally Betts said that the contract with Veolia is momentous in helping the council and its residents meet targets and improve the environment for future generations.

“Having household waste treated or recycled means Waverley will be reducing its waste-to-landfill by 7000 tonnes a year… that is equivalent to a reduction of 8120 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released to our atmosphere,” Mayor Betts said.

“Waverley Council, along with SSROC, has been working closely with Veolia to develop a sustainable and cost effective alternative to landfill.”

The new plant will have the capacity to take more waste, encouraging other councils, government agencies and commercial collectors to enter into similar contracts, further reducing waste to landfill across Sydney.

Randwick Mayor Scott Nash said that Randwick City Council has also significantly improved its resource recovery rate by reducing the amount of waste they need to dump in landfill over the last few years.

“In 2011 we were ranked 34 out of 38 Sydney metropolitan councils and we are now ranked in the top 10 for resource recovery,” Mayor Nash said.

“Currently, 50 per cent of all rubbish collected from Randwick City residential garbage bins is being diverted from landfill and sent to an alternative waste treatment facility where it is processed and recyclable and reusable organic material is extracted.

“This has increased from 38 per cent in 2010 and we have set a target of no untreated waste to landfill by 2020. The NSW Government has a target of 70% resource recovery by 2021-22,” he said.

Randwick Council are currently trialling a Kitchen Food Scraps collection program with 6,000 apartments to try and reduce landfill even more by removing food waste from garbage bins and using it for compost.

Mayor Nash praised innovative local schemes like the Green Money rewards program, which provides residents with reward points for recycling that are redeemable at local businesses for discounts and freebies.

Last year Waverley recorded 14,136 tonnes of landfill and the annual amount has remained steady since 2005, a huge improvement on 2004 when landfill waste was recorded at 18,226 tonnes.

Australians throw away 21 million tonnes of waste a year and, although we have improved in recent years, there is still a lot more we can do, according to the government.

A spokesperson for Waverley Council said that we all need to both consume less and recycle more in order to reach future goals.

Council recommends that you check out collaborative consumption websites and attend workshops for advice.

You can make your household greener by attending clothes swaps, upholstery workshops, visiting sharing websites to borrow tools and find work spaces in your neighbourhood, pickling and preserving food and cooking with leftovers.

Recycling is vital too, not just containers and paper but also food waste. Approximately 50 per cent of your wheelie bin (household rubbish – red bin) is compostable.