Local government representatives from across NSW will come together in Sydney to discuss how best to respond to Australia’s recycling crisis following China’s National Sword Policy.
Joining them will be NSW Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton – also Minister for the Environment – as the two tiers of government work together to protect recycling and kerbside collection in NSW.
Local Government NSW President Linda Scott said the National Sword Policy has resulted in the strict enforcement of China’s rules on the acceptance on foreign waste.
“If the recycling industry in Australia falters then we all lose,” Clr Scott said.
“But if all tiers of government work together we could create real opportunities, including new regional jobs in a home-grown environmental and recycling industry.
“Councils in NSW are already seeking support to develop markets for recycled glass, paper and plastics; working proactively to improve the quality of what’s in the recycling bin, and reducing recycling contamination levels.
“But that’s not enough, and councils can’t do the job alone.
“That’s why the local government sector is so pleased to have Minister Upton join us at this workshop in Sydney, and welcomes her commitment to working with the sector to help resolve the recycling crisis.”
Also attending the Workshop are representatives from the Environment Protection Authority, the Office of Local Government, Local Government Procurement, and the Waste Management Association of Australia.
Professor Veena Sahajwalla, from the University of NSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology, will outline the latest advances in recycling science, while presenters will address the role of procurement in safeguarding Australian recycling, the potential of partnering for local solutions, and contract negotiations to protect ratepayers when kerbside collection contracts are renegotiated with external service providers.
Clr Scott said the local government sector was committed to the continuation of recycling and smart waste management and would continue to call for the transparent application of the waste levy to support recycling.
“We commend the Minister for joining us at this Workshop, and we sincerely hope that she will hear our call to fully reinvest the hundreds of millions of dollars in waste levies collected from the community each year to support recycling,” she said.