The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed millions in extra funding to go towards recycling and reducing waste, an investment from the Federal Government and CSIRO to improve communities Australia-wide.
The Federal Government announced a $60 million expansion of the Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) while CSIRO committed $50 million to its new Ending Plastic Waste Mission.
ALGA President, Linda Scott, said local government has consistently advocated for greater investment in waste and circular economy initiatives that will reduce waste sent to landfill and increase re-use of valuable resources.
“Australians are world leaders at creating rubbish. Each person in Australia produces more rubbish than people in most other nations,” Cr Scott said.
“Local government is proud to be working with our communities to reduce waste and to turn our ten million tonnes of rubbish collected each year into new reusable products wherever possible.
“Across the country, local governments are pursuing new innovative opportunities to green our waste streams, by retrieving, sorting, recycling and reusing waste, but with greater support we could do much more.”
The Federal Government’s RMF has committed $190 million to date, to support new infrastructure to sort, process and remanufacture materials such as mixed paper, plastic, tyres and glass.
The new $60 million funding stream will help address difficult-to-recycle plastics such as bread bags and chip packets.
“With the next Federal Election potentially just weeks away, councils and our communities are advocating for a new $100 million per year program that will support us to deliver circular waste innovation projects in our communities,” Cr Scott said.
“In response to ALGA’s advocacy, the Federal Government’s announcement of an additional $60 million for their Recycling Modernisation Fund, alongside $50 million for CSIRO’s Ending Plastic Waste Program, is a welcome contribution.”
The CSIRO’s Ending Plastic Waste Mission is a cross-sector collaboration to reduce 80 per cent of plastic waste entering the environment by 2030 and grow Australia’s circular economy.
“Australia is facing a looming waste and recycling crisis and councils know that – sustainably funded – we can help our communities in every corner of Australia to be a part of the solution,” Cr Scott said.
“Backing the CSIRO’s Ending Plastic Waste Mission will benefit our communities and our environment, and we welcome this commitment.”