Working with the Commonwealth, councils can reduce the 20 million tonnes of rubbish sent to Australian landfills each year while creating new jobs across our nation.
ALGA President Linda Scott said Australia faces a looming waste and recycling crisis without immediate and sustained investment from all three tiers of government.
“We are running out of accessible landfills, and waste and recycling costs for all Australians continue to rise,” Cr Scott said.
“By mid-2024, when Australia’s waste export ban comes into full effect, 645,000 additional tonnes of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres will need to be processed and recycled locally every year.”
“We must continue our transition to a circular economy by finding new opportunities to re-use our rubbish and turn it into valuable resources and products.”
“Councils are calling on the next Federal Government to provide a new $100 million per year fund that would support us to deliver new circular waste innovation projects in our communities.”
“This would create almost 800 new jobs, and add $136 million per year to Australia’s GDP.”
Cr Scott said regional and remote councils needed additional support and guidance to unlock the circular economy locally.
“Rural and remote councils face additional waste and recycling challenges, due to the spread of local properties, as well as the long distances to sorting and processing facilities,” Cr Scott said.
“Many of these rural and remote councils have low ratepayer bases and can’t afford additional transport costs.”
Cr Scott said councils were also seeking support from the next Federal Government to implement a standardized bin collection service across the country, as agreed to by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.
“Harmonising bin collection services will be costly, and the burden shouldn’t fall on the affected communities alone.”
“More support will be required from other tiers of government to make sure that waste collection charges don’t rise due to councils providing more bins.”