Food recycling for Sydney a priority

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Inner West Council is calling on the Minister for Environment and the Minister for Local Government to enter into a partnership with Local Government to deliver a food recycling scheme for metropolitan Sydney that would drastically reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Council has welcomed an announcement from the Minister of Local Government that she will return the waste levy to Councils for innovative recycling projects that will reduce landfill.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that there was significant interest amongst Metropolitan councils in working together to create a regional food recycling scheme.

“Councils want to recycling food and garden organics, and residents want us to do it,” he said.

“Most regional Councils in NSW have been able to convert to food and organics recycling.

“The missing piece of the puzzle in Metropolitan Sydney is infrastructure – we need large scale food and organics recycling plants to service the Sydney area.”

With the recent ban on the use of Mixed Waste Organic Material there are now several recycling plants around the city producing ‘compost’ that now must be landfilled, at great expense to ratepayers.

“Logic would dictate that these Plants should be transformed to Food Organic and Garden Organics processing plants,” said Cr Byrne.

“This would be an ideal use of the waste levy funds.

“Reinvesting some of the Waste Levy in a food recycling scheme for metropolitan Sydney represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address the food waste crisis in our community.

In 2014/15 the Sydney metropolitan area sent 331,150 tonnes of food organics to landfill, costing more than $40m in waste levies. Today, that tonnage would cost councils more than $47m.

According to NSW Local Government body LGNSW, the State Government is set to pocket $727 million in the 2019-20 financial year due to the waste levy. Around $300 million of that amount will come from Local Governments.

“Until now the State Government has retained the bulk of those levies,” said Mayor Byrne.

“This announcement sees the State take a welcome approach to using waste levies the way they should be used.”

A recent collaboration between eight Melbourne councils and the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation led to the creation of Melbourne’s South Eastern Organics Processing Facility.

This facility is expected to have the same emission-removing effect as taking 14,000 cars off the road each year.


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Page last updated: 28 Nov 2019