November 13-19 is Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week and it’s a great time to celebrate NSW’s recycling achievements and look at our priorities for the future.
In 2021, the NSW Government announced the $356 million Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy, building on previous investments to significantly increase the use of recycled content by government and industry, triple the plastics recycling rate and achieve an 80% average recovery rate by 2030.
NSW EPA Director Major Programs Kathy Giunta said the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is proud to continue to promote recycling and waste avoidance measures under the first stage of the Strategy.
“Recycling is an important part of our strategy to achieve a circular economy in New South Wales, which is about avoiding the generation of waste and keeping resources in use for longer,” Ms Giunta said.
“The EPA plays a key role to increase our recycling rates, through a range of programs and initiatives that support communities, industries and government to embed circular solutions and reduce waste.
“Our container deposit scheme ‘Return and Earn’ has been embraced by the community, with more than 10.2 billion eligible bottles, cartons and cans now returned through the growing network of more than 600 return points across the state.
“We’ve collected and either disposed of or recycled more than 45,000 tonnes of hazardous household waste via our Household Chemical Cleanout events and network of 101 Community Recycling Centres available in NSW.
“This includes recycling 700 tonnes of batteries which can otherwise pose a fire risk, and nearly 400 tonnes of fluorescent globes, preventing mercury from being sent to landfill and polluting our soils.
“Our organics recycling program is helping bring ‘FOGO’ bins and kerbside collections to 2 million more households in NSW by 2027, turning food and garden scraps that previously went to landfill into high-quality commercial compost for use in parks, gardens and agriculture.
“Our business recycling program has helped more than 38,000 businesses to reduce waste and increase recycling and re-use. We recently announced $6 million in grants for an additional 4,000 businesses through the Bin Trim Networks Program.
“Earlier this year, the Federal and NSW Governments announced a co-investment of $11 million to transform the recycling industry in NSW, creating new jobs and improving our capacity to recycle and remanufacture cardboard, paper, plastic and tyres by more than 20,000 tonnes per year.”
For more information about NSW’s recycling rates in 2021-22, go to: NSW waste and recycling performance data for the 2021-22 financial year.
To have your say on the NSW Plastics: Next Steps discussion paper, visit: https://yoursay.epa.nsw.gov.au.