Innovation at the heart of $10 million fund for waste and recycling

A new $10 million fund, Local Government Waste Solutions (LGWS), is encouraging NSW councils and regional waste groups to develop innovative projects to reduce waste and support the transition to a circular economy.

NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Executive Director Liesbet Spanjaard said in order to reach net-zero by 2050, we need local councils and regional waste groups in the waste levy paying area to bring their best ideas to life. 

“The transition to a circular economy requires collaboration and a willingness to think outside the box,” Ms Spanjaard said. 

“We are committed to fostering that thinking and this fund will help deliver robust solutions to the waste challenges of today, tomorrow and the future.

“If we’re to achieve the ambitious 2030 targets set out by the NSW Government which include a 60% reduction in litter and an 80% average resource recovery rate from waste streams, we must invest in innovation.

“We know there is value in what we waste, and this program will play an important role in unlocking the opportunities to drive a circular NSW.”

Eligible organisations are encouraged to prioritise projects that meet circular design principles, such as material recovery and reprocessing which keep products in use for as long as possible. 

In the first year of the program, grants of up to $200,000 will be available to individual councils while grants of up to $400,000 will be on offer for regional waste groups and joint council initiatives. 

The first round of funding is for $2 million in 2023, while another $8 million will be available over the following four years.

Applications for the first round of funding are open from 16 January to 31 March 2023. 

The program is funded through the NSW Government’s $356 million Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy which outlines an ambitious set of targets to help NSW transition to a circular economy over the next 20 years.

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