Saturday, June 17, 2023

Leading a Reform Agenda on Waste (NOM 20 June 2023 Council Meeting)

 Item No:         C0623(1) Item 27

Subject:         Notice of Motion: Leading a Reform Agenda on Waste           

From:             Councillor Marghanita Da Cruz  





1.   That Council notes councils have a key role to play in reducing waste and its impact on the environment

2.   That Council notes across the Sydney metropolitan area, 55 per cent of household and commercial waste goes to landfill each year, resulting in loss of valuable resources, costing businesses and households more than $750 million in waste levies each year.

3.   That Council will work with other Sydney councils to

a)   reduce waste;

b)   improve environmental outcomes where waste has to be processed;

c)   find solutions for the residue that is left; and

d)   coordinate our advocacy, communications and collective buying power to bring the benefits of scale, efficiency and industry confidence.

4.   That Council write to the NSW Government to invest the revenue from its waste levy for council and industry initiatives that:

a)   accelerate the transition to a circular economy;

b)   build the waste infrastructure needed to meet the growing pressures of population growth, loss of landfill capacity and a lack of competition in the sector;

c)   educate and support communities to reduce waste; and

d)   set the waste levy at an appropriate level with realistic hypothecation allocation, to streamline planning approvals for infrastructure, and to increase clarity and efficiency of licensing procedures.

5.   That Council write to  the Commonwealth Government to expedite bans on materials that cannot be recycled or recovered, and to increase extended producer responsibilities including labelling to specify recycled content in product and packaging.

6.   That Council work with the other tiers of government to ensure the delivery of infrastructure solutions locally to reduce waste hauled long distances or to landfill.




Across Australia, people are asking for more ambitious action on climate change. Reducing waste and its impact on the environment is one of the key actions councils can take to lower our emissions.


Across the Sydney metropolitan area, 55 per cent of household and commercial waste goes to landfill each year, resulting in loss of valuable resources, costing businesses and households more than $750 million in waste levies each year.


Sydney councils must meet ambitious resource recovery and waste reduction targets, while also meeting the community’s expectations for uninterrupted services and public health outcomes. The time has long passed when councils collected rubbish and transported it to a landfill where it would slowly rot away. 


Achieving the overhaul of the industry that is needed requires strategic input from Mayors, Councillors, GMs/CEOs and councils' officers.


Providing viable waste services for the community is no longer solely an operational issue for council staff to manage. Industry-wide changes include a limited number of suppliers, a lack of processing infrastructure and a shortage of readily accessible waste collection and transfer sites.  These changes present all Sydney councils with the prospects of rising costs, increasing truck movements and resource recovery rates that are static at best. Few options exist for increased efficiency or resource recovery improvements, or to reduce landfill.


The original drivers of public health and hygiene have been supplemented by the need to reduce pollution, lower carbon emissions, and recover and re-use resources. Collecting waste is just part of the picture; Councils must make strategic decisions about where this waste will go.


The last 20 years have seen significant positive change. Recycling has been introduced for glass, hard plastics, paper and cardboard. There are separate collections for mattresses, electronic waste, tyres, clothing, mobile phones, batteries and chemicals.  Landfills capture methane to generate energy.  There will soon be collections for food waste and/or food and garden organics.


In spite of councils’ successes, waste processing and disposal have not kept pace with recent changes, yet the population is growing and waste generation rates continue to increase. Most Sydney councils must pay to haul recyclable materials and waste far outside their local area, and new transfer capacity is difficult to secure due to cost and availability of appropriately zoned land.


Data shows that we will not be able to meet NSW and Commonwealth targets with our current systems. Even with the highest efficiencies, progress in domestic waste collection and recovery will be impossible without major changes. These transitions will be expensive. The Waste Levy on landfill is an incentive to recycle, but in a failing market just adds to the costs that Council must charge the community.  Only a around 7 per cent of around $800 million in annual waste levy revenue comes back to councils and the waste industry through contestable grants to fund improvements. Councils will not receive a fair share of funding, despite being asked to meet government targets and transition to a circular economy.


I  attended the Metropolitan Sydney Mayoral Summit on Waste on 18 May 2023 to discuss what councils can do to contribute solutions to these concerns. The Sydney Mayoral Summit was convened by Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) on behalf of Resilient Sydney, which our council supports.


Together we heard from the waste industry, NSW EPA and Federal Government representatives, and Sydney Mayors about initiatives and areas of influence where councils can work together. 

image omitted from council papers

Australian Packaging Covenant

Australasian Recycling Label


: Officer’s Comments


No further comments were required for this Notice of Motion. [As of Printing Agenda but provided on Fri 16 June]





Also on Agenda:

Item No:         C0623(1) Item 4

Subject:         Delivery Program 2022-26 (Year 2), Operational Plan and Budget 2023-24, Long Term Financial Plan 2023-33 – Outcomes of Public Exhibition           

Prepared By:           Daryl Jackson - Chief Financial Officer, Prue Foreman - Corporate    
     Strategy and Engagement Manager and
     Kathryn Parker - Team Leader Corporate Strategy 

Authorised By:       Ruth Callaghan - Director Community


1.   That Council note the outcome of the public exhibition of Council’s Integrated Planning and Reporting documents as required by the Local Government Act 1993;

2.   That Council adopt the following documents with the proposed changes arising from the public exhibition as outlined in the report and attachments:

a)   Revised Delivery Program 2022-26 (year 2), Operational Plan and Budget 2023/2024 (including Fees and Charges 2023/2024);

Domestic Wast and other Income
b)   Revised Long Term Financial Plan 2023-2033 (Scenario 1 – Business as Usual); and

c)   Amendment to the adopted Residential and Business - General Rates Harmonisation transition timeline, for 100% transition from 1 July 2023, instead of ending July 2029.

3.   That Council note the package of Service Statements that have been developed to provide a succinct description of every service, including activities undertaken, actions and KPIs, levels of service where relevant and budget.

4.   That Council publish the final documents on its corporate website by 30 June 2023 and notify the Office of Local Government of the link to its web page.


Background - Integrated Planning and Reporting.... Agenda Council Meeting 20 June 2023



Item No:         C0623(1) Item 11

Subject:         FOGO Service Update           

Prepared By:          Erin White - Manager Resource Recovery and Fleet Services and
    Helen Bradley - Manager Resource Recovery Planning  

Authorised By:       Ryann Midei - Director Infrastructure





1.    That Council endorses the Community Engagement and Change Communications Strategy. 


2.    That Council endorse the Inner West Creative FOGO (Food Organics and Garden Organics) campaign.


3.    That the General Manager be delegated authority to write off all fees in relation to requests to increase the size of any existing red-lid garbage bin to 240 litre or 120 litre within the Domestic Waste Management service, associated with the implementation of the food recycling program until 1 July 2024. 


4.    That an update be provided at Councillor workshop before a further report is considered at the August Ordinary Meeting. 



Council resolved on 8 February 2022 to deliver a Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) Service to all Inner West households within this Council term.  

At the Extraordinary Council Meeting held on 13 December 2022 Council confirmed that Veolia would process its Food and Garden Organics material and resolved to enter into a Deed of Variation to the existing Inner West current contract to commence the service in 2023.  The processing is through a third-party provider in Forbes, that will use the product for agricultural land application. ...Agenda Council Meeting 20 June 2023




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