Local Government advisory group meeting communiques

Meeting 30 September 2021

The eighth meeting of the Advisory Group was held on Thursday 30 September 2021.  On 27 August, an additional meeting of the group was held to do a ‘deep dive’ into the Strategy and Plastics Plan released by the NSW Government in June 2021.

Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy (WASM)

Since August, the EPA has been working intensively with local Councils as well as representative groups such as Local Government NSW, Regional and Joint Organisations of Councils and regional waste coordinators.

Over 50 one-to-one discussions have been held and 12 written submissions received providing feedback on the Waste Delivery Plan.  The Plan is currently being finalised and includes information about the approaches and timeframes for the implementation of the Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy.

Other waste and resource recovery matters

Members were provided with updates on the NSW Government’s Energy from Waste infrastructure plan, the review of the resource recovery framework, circular economy design guidelines, the EPA’s Litter Prevention Program and the NSW Government’s response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Coal Ash Dam.

Members were advised that the consultations period for the recovered fines has been extended until 29 October.

Asbestos and contamination matters

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) presented members with the campaign material for this year’s Asbestos Awareness Week that runs from 22-28 November.  Local Government is a significant partner in helping to keep our community safe from asbestos exposure.  Members were also advised about progress to reduce the cost of asbestos disposal.

Members were updated about a review that the EPA has conducted into how local Councils present information about contaminated land in planning certificates in NSW.  Councils will be receiving the results of the review shortly.

Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) Protocol

The EPA has commenced consulting with Councils, MRF operators and peak bodies about the protocol.  The Draft Protocol has been released for review and the consultation period is open from 12 October – 26 November.  Two webinars will be held early in November for Local Government and the waste industry.

Tracy Mackey
CEO and Chair
18 October 2021

The inaugural meeting of the Advisory Group was held on Tuesday 29 September 2020.

Meeting Tuesday 20 July 2021

Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy

The Strategy and Plastics Plan have been released by the NSW Government.  Every Council will have the opportunity to talk with the EPA about what the Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy (WASM) and the Plastics Plan means for them. The EPA will also work with representative groups such as Local Government NSW, Regional Organisations of Councils and regional waste coordinators.

An additional meeting of the group will be held in August to engage on the implementation plan.

Findings from 2019-20 Waste and Resource Recovery Reports

Both reports can be found on the EPA Website – local government waste and resource recovery and the waste performance data.  Members expressed an interest in understanding the current data and data improvement.

Asbestos – alternative waste cover

Members were provided an update about the option to use general solid waste as alternative cover for asbestos waste at landfills, instead of needing to use virgin excavated natural materials.

Recovered fines

Members were provided with an update about the recovered fines review and confirmed that the EPA will consult with industry on its final proposal and host information sessions if new conditions are required.

Material Recovery Facilities Protocol

The EPA will soon be consulting with Councils, Material Recovery Facilities Protocol operators and peak bodies about the protocol and will be invited to participate and attend a Webinar.

COVID arrangements

Tracy Mackey provided advisory group members with an update on the COVID arrangements for local Councils and the waste sector.  The EPA’s Website will be updated daily, including with Fact Sheets.

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