City of Sydney aims for zero waste

A bold new City of Sydney plan to ‘Leave Nothing to Waste’ will introduce new residential waste collection streams to increase recycling and set a path to zero waste.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the plan would redefine waste as a valuable resource, instead of landfill.

New recommended residential services include:

  • Weekly kerbside electronic waste collections

  • An opt-in trial of residential food waste collection

  • A community drop-off centre for problem waste streams

  • Clothing and textiles collection from apartment buildings

The strategy includes actions to help businesses choose more sustainable waste management solutions, recommends separate organic waste collection for City buildings, an investigation into improved public place recycling and upgrades to City depots to separate and sort waste.

If adopted by Council, the actions will be implemented from 2019.

“Our residents generate close to 65,000 tonnes of waste every year – and while 69 per cent is now diverted from landfill, this plan looks to increase that to 90 per cent by 2030. To do that, we have to drastically increase our recycling rates.

Ms Moore said the City would also continue to work closely with businesses to help improve their waste management practices.

“Businesses generate more than 90 per cent of all waste produced in the city area and we need their commitment to seriously change the way we deal with waste in Sydney,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The City has developed the operational waste management guidelines for commercial offices – but there’s always more that can be done and we’re calling on businesses to contact our specialised teams so we can look at how they can improve their recycling rates.”

The Lord Mayor said the City would work with the waste industry to investigate the feasibility of an energy from waste facility from items that cannot be recycled.

“We’re absolutely committed to recycling as many waste items as we can, but we realise that’s not possible for all items. That’s why a waste to energy treatment solution in an appropriate location must be considered.

“We’ll talk to industry stakeholders to discuss the best way forward for an energy to waste solution.”

Targets for 2021 include:

  • To divert 70 per cent of residential waste from landfill (minimum 35 per cent as source-separated recycling)

  • To divert 70 per cent of waste from businesses operation in LGA

  • To divert 80 per cent of construction and demolition waste from all projects in the city

  • To divert 50 per cent of waste from City parks, streets and public places

  • To divert 70 per cent of waste from City-managed properties from landfill

All targets will rise to 90 per cent by 2030.

If approved, residents and stakeholders can view and comment on ‘Leave Nothing to Waste’ on from Tuesday 27 June.

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