Keep Recycling (GM’s Latest Column – 19th May 2018)

4 years ago | by

Green Schools 2016-17 Sawtell

Recycled waste has been a hot topic locally and nationally in recent weeks.

Just last week, Council hosted ‘Waste 2018’, Australia’s largest waste management conference. Now in its 22nd year, the forum was attended by 630 delegates, featured 87 exhibitions and heard from 144 speakers. Every year delegates come from across Australia and overseas for this annual event, which has been hosted by Coffs Harbour City Council since 1996.

During the three-day conference, presentations were made by the NSW Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton, Natalie Issacs of the 1 Million Women Social Media movement, Costa Georgiadis from ABC’s Gardening Australia and a diverse range of industry and government experts.

Key topics at this year’s conference included the NSW Container Deposit Scheme, interstate transportation of waste, the circular economy of waste from collection to reuse and new initiatives to reduce waste to landfill.

Also high on the agenda was the China National Sword Policy. This is a change brought in by the Chinese Government to restrict the import of certain types of recyclable materials – and China has been a key market for waste producers worldwide for some time.

Unfortunately, in some states this has resulted in more waste going into landfill. However, in NSW – and the Coffs Coast – there is a general view agreed by all levels of government, that this change represents a great opportunity to grow local, sustainable businesses and jobs that will help ensure our resources continue to be used in our region and state.

In addition, Environment Ministers across Australia have endorsed a national shift towards ensuring that all packaging be ‘recyclable, compostable or reusable’ by 2025. The Ministers also agreed to reduce the amount of waste produced in Australia, push for increased use of recycled materials in government projects, look at existing recycling infrastructure to consider upgrades and new facilities and explore opportunities for waste-to-energy projects.

Coffs Coast residents are in the top five in NSW for recycling and diversion of waste from landfill and that’s a reputation we want to see maintained and improved.

China’s policy does not affect how we recycle locally. All recycling in the Coffs Coast Region is being recovered and I’d urge residents to keep doing the right thing and keep recycling.

You can help by being even more vigilant in sorting recyclables into the yellow bin, by making sure that recyclables are clean and you are disposing of the right materials in the yellow bins.

You’ve done a great job so far – let’s keep it up!

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