Blue Mountains News
Council Calls for Fair Funding of Waste Industry
The State Government collects a waste levy from local government, community, businesses and industry. In 2016/17 this amounted to $726 million, but only $72 million of this amount was committed to waste minimisation and recycling. This is just over 10 per cent.
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said: “Currently the majority of the waste levy is returned to the NSW Government’s consolidated revenue. Far too little of the levy is being used to fund waste management solutions required by our communities and businesses.”
In the lead-up to the last NSW election, Local Government NSW launched a Save Our Recycling campaign calling for all of the waste levy to be returned to the waste industry. At the Council Meeting on 13 November 2018, Council outlined its full support for the campaign.
However, to date, the State Government has not committed to increase its funding of the waste industry in line with the amount it receives via the levy.
Overall the NSW State Government’s Waste Less Recycle More initiative allocates $801 million over 8 years (2013-2021) to waste and recycling. Yet the waste levy collected over that period is expected to be $4.62 billion.
At a local government level, just 18% of the $300 million collected from the local government sector each year is reinvested in recycling and waste management.
“Regardless of how you look at it, the principle remains the same – very little of the waste levy is currently used to support waste minimisation, recycling and resource recovery,” Cr Greenhill said.
“Any increase in the level of waste levy returned directly to Council would help support the delivery of Council’s Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery strategy. In particular it would help improve resource recovery, provide business waste minimisation support, help household organic waste reduction or diversion, increase community education and engagement, and provide support for local reuse opportunities.
“We call on the State Government to commit all the funds it receives via the NSW Waste Levy to much-needed waste management.”
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