Confirmation sought on recycling

Media release - 11 August 2017

Waste management and the destination of thousands of tonnes of recycling generated by local communities across NSW, has recently been in the national media spotlight. Kempsey Shire Council have fielded a number of calls from concerned residents following an investigation by the ABC’s Four Corners.

Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, Robert Scott acknowledged the community concern.

“Like many organisations who deal with waste management, our community has sought clarification on what happens to the recycling we generate.

“Our Council operates our own EPA licensed landfill facility on Crescent Head Road and all red bin waste goes there. All of the yellow bin recycling and green bin organics waste is sent to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s licensed waste facility at Cairncross for processing.

“Our understanding is that the contractor who operates that recycling plant sorts all recyclables into their relevant streams onsite to be recycled. However we have sought confirmation through Port Macquarie-Hastings Council that this is the case and will share that information with the community when a response is received” said Mr Scott.

The NSW Government landfill levy for regional areas is $80 a tonne, which is cheaper than in metropolitan areas. There is no financial incentive to transport waste to other locations or states for processing when regional Councils can operate their own landfill sites.

The EPA released a statement saying that NSW has the strongest waste regulations in the country and one of the highest recycling rates when compared to other states. The EPA is actively investigating a number of landfill sites but following allegations made in the TV program they have also referred the issue of illegal dumping to ICAC.

“The message to our community is while waste management is a complex and highly regulated industry, everyone can play a part in reducing the volume of material we send to recycling plants by buying products in bulk or with less packaging and thinking about reusing things before they are thrown away,” said Mr Scott.