Northern Beaches Council has launched its first waste and circular economy strategy in an effort to introduce a sustainable ‘reuse, repair and recycle’ model of waste management. 

Council’s Waste and Circular Economy Strategy 2040 – Rethink. Reduce. Reuse is a blueprint for future waste management, which is aimed at transforming waste and litter management services away from a ‘take, make and dispose’ model to one which provides for a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Northern Beaches Mayor, Sue Heins said that Council is on a mission to transform waste management for the area. 

“By 2040 we want to be leading the way in circular economy practices, with a waste and litter service that delivers the cleanest public spaces in Sydney,” Mayor Heins said. 

The strategy is central to shifting the Northern Beaches to a fully functioning circular economy that will benefit the environment, local business, and residents. Council said that it delivers on its commitment to a new long-term waste and circular economy blueprint and action plan.

“We manage one of Sydney’s largest waste services, with over 330,000 bins, and our community generates over 100,000t of household waste each year. That amount of waste is almost the equivalent to twice the weight of the Sydney Harbour Bridge,” Mayor Heins said.

“We know our community wants a cleaner, greener environment and is prepared to do its bit to get there.

“Some 85 per cent of Northern Beaches residents are willing to change their habits to reduce the amount of waste they produce, and 90 per cent already reuse or repair some household items.

“We now have an opportunity to help support our local residents, create new jobs and support innovative, sustainable businesses that invest in circular practices like reuse, repair, and recycling, driving economic growth and strengthening community bonds.”

Mayor Heins said that Council understands there are many challenges ahead, including making the shift from wasteful consumption, overcoming limited access to large-scale waste infrastructure, and addressing market limitations for recyclable materials, among others.

“We will also collaborate with other metropolitan councils and urge state and federal governments to join forces to expedite this journey.

“By sharing the responsibility, empowering the community, and making it as easy as possible to change behaviours, I wholeheartedly believe we can do this.”

Highlights from the strategy:

  • Piloting hubs for local reuse, repair, and recycling
  • Investigating opportunities for local business and manufacturers to share used material for reuse and recycling
  • Increasing types of waste that can be recycled
  • Better options for collection of ‘problem’ waste (i.e., chemicals, e-waste and textiles)
  • Tackling organic waste and introducing food waste collection
  • Continuing to tackle single use plastics
  • New litter prevention initiatives
  • Council leading better waste management in its own planning and operations

These and other actions are detailed under five key directions in the strategy:

  • Eliminating waste
  • Easy to use waste service
  • Tackling priority waste
  • Green and clean environment
  • Council leading the way

Read the full strategy here.

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