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Local recycling waste. Images: Contributed.

NEW funding critical for councils’ frontline recycling efforts

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott has welcomed last week’s $35 million announcement supporting remanufacturing of recyclable goods and said projects that benefit local communities should go to the front of the line for funding consideration.

“Today’s Federal and State governments funding commitment is a significant step forward in putting recycling where it needs to be – at the front of our national and State priorities,” Cr Scott said.

“We can no longer export our waste overseas, and with dwindling landfill on our own shores, we need clever recycling solutions that turn waste into a reusable product. We are literally throwing out hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of reusable product and we need to turn that around.

“It is something councils and LGNSW have been advocating for years – we launched our Save Our Recycling campaign in 2018 to drive the issue and even presented a comprehensive plan on how the NSW Government could use the $800 million it collects annually from its Waste Levy to make it happen.

“It is encouraging government has listened to us as reflected in today’s funding announcement.

“This new Remanufacture NSW Fund will make $35 million available for industry and council projects that are willing to fund the other third to support initiatives that turn recyclable material into reusable products.

“This will not only preserve our environment but boost our economy and create new jobs.”

Through this latest funding, along with existing programs and industry investment, more than $162 million could be invested in new projects, with a priority on critical new sorting technologies and materials recovery.

Cr Scott said NSW councils played a lead role their communities’ waste management and recycling efforts and should be given priority in funding decisions, as well as be closely involved in helping identify worthy projects for funding.

“Councils are best placed to know the recycling gaps and needs of their areas and what projects will work best in their local settings,” Cr Scott said.

“As we’ve been saying consistently to government, councils need to be part of the decision-making process in the development of Statewide and regional recycling plans to ensure the most bang for buck and best outcomes for local environment and communities, not just pure profit.”

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