ALGA 2022 Motion: Yes to the Circular Economy and No to Incinerators

Thankyou to Chris Hansen, Lisa Saunders and Marina Antoniozzi for coming to speak to last night's council meeting on Item4 that Inner West Council send the Yes to the Circular Economy and No to Incinerators Motion to the Australian Local Govermemt Association Conference

The three 3 minute presentations provided compelling reasons why all levels of government should be moving toward the Circular Economy and not the Incineration of Waste. Watch recording at https://www.youtube.com/embed/LHCWzSioLDA?start=751

2022 National General Assembly Proposed Motion FROM INNER WEST COUNCIL

MOTION TITLE: Yes to the Circular Economy and No to Incinerators 

MOTION DETAILS: That ALGA advocate to the Australian government to:

  1. Establish a program to fund and support councils to transition their communities to a Zero Waste Circular Economy, in which there is no place for incinerators. Eligible pilot projects include:

    • Smarter electric garbage trucks and bins for specialised kerbside collection

    • Promoting the implementation of FOGO collection programs

    • Establishing micro factories for local processing and streaming of recovered materials

    • Consumer Awareness Programs through innovation at council parks, main streets, facilities and events

    • Inclusion of at least 50% recycled materials and products in procurement

    • Aligning labelling with drop offs and collections

    • Promoting Circular Economy in schools including a STEM prize

    • Enabling Councils to undertake Circular Economy pilots in partnership with universities

    • Establishing Circular Economy incubators with links to small business

  1. Remove incinerators from the Australian Renewable Energy Target (RET) and remove native forest biomass as a renewable component of bioenergy/fuel and its eligibility for subsidy.

NATIONAL OBJECTIVE

Partnerships are vital to the transition to a Circular Economy and Councils are uniquely placed when it comes to recovery and reuse of what until now has been considered as waste.

SUMMARY OF KEY ARGUMENTS

Waste incinerators degrade air quality, produce large quantities of greenhouse gases and discharge toxic heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants, e.g. dioxins, that do not break down and build up in people, thereby harming their health as well as the environment. Incinerators generate highly toxic ash that cannot be treated or recycled and must be stored forever in a hazardous waste landfill.

Once established the ever-increasing demand of incinerators for fuel kills off any downstream reuse and recycling initiatives and establishes a market for otherwise recyclable material as a fuel stream. This completely contradicts the principles of avoidance, reuse and recycling and prevents the creation of a circular economy.

Our local communities are keen to play their part in resource recovery and federal funding would assist councils to innovate through pilot projects, community programs and programs in schools.

Since Councils collect public, domestic and business waste as well as generating their own operational and construction waste and as such play a crucial role in the realising of a Circular Economy but need support to evaluate new policies and practices before rolling them into their operation

Examples being smart electric garbage trucks and bins for collection, micro factories for local processing and streaming to improve resource recovery, aligning labelling with collections and informing consumers through projects at Council facilities and events and aligning labelling with drop offs and collections.

Funding would also assist councils to innovate processes and practices to avoid, reduce and increase recycling and the procurement and use of recycled products in community construction projects as well as their own.

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