City of Sydney moves towards zero waste

The City of Sydney has unanimously voted to start collecting food waste, textiles and e-waste, in a bid to get to zero waste by 2030.

The action plan includes:

  • a trial of residential food waste collection – targeted groups of residents can opt-in to have their food waste collected separately and taken to a facility where it will be converted into high-grade compost or energy

  • clothing and textiles collection from apartment buildings – residents will be able to throw their old clothing in a communal waste bin, which will then be collected and recycled

  • weekly kerbside electronic waste collection – residents will be able to book in a free pick-up each week, with their old electronics taken to a facility where minerals and materials will be collected and reused

  • a community drop-off centre for problem waste streams such as gas bottles, paints and chemicals

The council will also investigate the use of low and/or zero emissions vehicles for waste collection to ensure clean and clear streets.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the plan, to be carried out over the next two to three years, will set new standards for residential waste collection across the country.

“Australians are becoming increasingly concerned about where their rubbish ends up, which is why our new waste strategy has been so well received,” Ms Moore said.

She said residents generate close to 65,000 tonnes of waste each year. Although 69 per cent is now diverted from landfills, steps are being taken to increase that to 90 per cent by 2030.

The City will also investigate including soft plastics in the community waste drop-off centre.

Ms Moore said the council will continue to pressure the NSW government to ban the plastic bag.

Businesses will have to manage the collection of their waste on their own. The City will provide funding opportunities for innovative technologies and ideas to address problem waste streams not currently managed in a sustainable way.

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