Wasting less, recycling more in National Recycling Week

With National Recycling Week underway, the NSW Government has revealed it is increasing the State’s recycling capacity by 3.2 million tonnes, which is equivalent to a staggering 120,000 semi-trailers stretched end-to-end from Sydney to Cairns.

Minister for Environment James Griffin said the data from the latest report card on the Waste Less Recycle More program details the success of more than 3,000 NSW Government-supported projects in the waste and resource recovery sector.

“The $802.7 million Waste Less Recycle More program is the largest waste and recycling program in Australia, and it has achieved fantastic results since we rolled it out 10 years ago,” Mr Griffin said.

“This NSW Government program is helping us divert an enormous amount of waste from landfill and driving down greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’ve funded infrastructure to increase recycling capacity by 3.2 million tonnes, delivered a 43 per cent reduction in litter, reduced illegal dumping, and managed problem waste like chemicals and batteries better.

“We’ve supported almost 40,000 businesses reduce their waste fees through the BinTrim program, built new roads and footpaths with 11,600 tonnes of recycled glass, and built or expanded 41 composting facilities to increase capacity by 763,000 tonnes.

“For people in need across NSW, the program has supported delivery of 21 million meals through food donation programs, saving unsold fresh food from the bin, and reducing emissions at the same time.”

Other Waste Less Recycle More report card highlights include:

  • 97 Community Recycling Centres collecting 16,452 tonnes of household problem waste to help protect the environment
  • 17,367 tonnes of unwanted chemicals and other household problem waste dropped off by 429,000 NSW residents at clean out events
  • 64 new or enhanced organics collections services, recycling 202,512 tonnes of waste per year
  • $108 million in NSW Government funding of waste and recycling infrastructure projects, stimulating $267 million industry investment
  • $6.1 million to support small business purchases of recycling equipment, resulting in the diversion of another 72,212 tonnes of waste from landfill.

Waste Less Recycle More ran from 2012 until 2022 and the NSW Government’s new $356 million Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy is tackling plastic waste, boosting infrastructure investment, lowering carbon emissions and protecting the community from waste pollution.

Another key NSW Government recycling initiative is the Return and Earn program, which has achieved incredible results since it commenced in 2017.

More than eight billion containers have been returned, delivering $800 million in refunds to the people of NSW, more than $35 million in donations to community groups and charities, and helping us reduce drink container litter by a massive 52 per cent.

Grant funding opportunities under the Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy are available on the EPA Grants Calendar: https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/working-together/grants.

To view the report card, visit https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/recycling-and-reuse/waste-less-recycle-more