Illawarra and Shoalhaven residents can rest assured that their Councils are not going to dump their recycling programs despite China’s decision to stop accepting Australian recyclable items each year. Wollongong Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM joined with Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba, Kiama Mayor Mark Honey and Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findlay to plan for the future of recycling following China’s decision.
”This decision will change the waste industry in Australia,” said ISJO Chair and spokesperson Cr Bradbery. “It is unavoidable and an economic impact is already being felt by the recycling industry throughout Australia.
“Our councils are disappointed that the NSW Government’s $47 million package to support the waste crisis is only a reallocation of funds already promised to Councils for use on already planned waste and recycling initiatives.
“We will need access to new funding from the billions of dollars the State Government collects from the Waste Levy. We will need these funds to plan how each Council collects its waste and disposes of the recycling in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. These funds could be used to initiate new responses and develop new markets for this waste.
“We will continue to promote the benefit of recycling to our communities to support whatever transition may occur within the industry,” said Cr Bradbery.
“All councils continue to encourage every household and business to keep on recycling through their kerbside yellow lid recycling service, the Community Recycling Centres and through the container deposit drop off points.” Across the region, the new Community Recycling Centres have collectively diverted more than 300 tonnes of household problem waste from landfill.
“Councils remain fully committed to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and to grow recycling so that no recyclable items from our residents, businesses and visitors goes to landfill.
“The good news is that there is heightened community awareness that separating out the recycling is only the start of the solution,” said Cr Bradbery “As a strong region we need to look at how we can encourage recycling and reprocessing to remain onshore, preferably in our region, providing jobs and supporting innovation in a sustainable economy.”
“Our Councils are optimistic that a coordinated approach from Local, State and Federal Governments will result in the necessary infrastructure and innovation that we need to resolve the waste crisis,” said Cr Bradbery.