Recycling and reuse in NSW

Discover the EPA's programs and initiatives designed to increase recycling and reduce waste in NSW.

The NSW Plastics Action Plan (June 2021)

The NSW Plastics Action Plan was developed to manage plastic throughout its lifecycle. This will be achieved through:

  • the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 which:
    • creates legislative frameworks to ban problematic or unnecessary plastic items
    • sets design standards for items for environmental, human health or economic purposes, and
    • establishes a framework to impose product stewardship requirements on brand owners of regulated products
  • accelerating the transition to better plastic products
  • funding innovation and plastics research
  • managing cigarette butt and nurdle (small pre-production plastic pellets) litter
  • supporting plastics research to improve understanding of the future of plastics.

Waste reduction schemes

NSW is participating in the development of national product stewardship schemes. Under these schemes, industry takes greater responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products, particularly where they become waste.

Household recycling

The EPA is working to increase the number of green lid bin services, so more people can separate their home food and garden organics for collection and recycling into compost. And to safely dispose of household problem wastes free of charge, NSW householders can use 2 convenient collection systems: Household Chemical CleanOut and Community Recycling Centres

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy

Reducing waste generation and keeping materials circulating within the economy are priorities for NSW. To meet this challenge, the EPA reviews the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (WARR) Strategy every 5 years.

Waste Less, Recycle More

The NSW Government has extended the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative with a further $337 million over 4 years from 2017-21. Waste Less, Recycle More provides funding for business recycling, organics collections, market development, managing problem wastes, new waste infrastructure, local councils and programs to tackle illegal dumping and litter.

NSW Container Deposit Scheme: Return and Earn

To help meet the Premier's goal of reducing the volume of litter in NSW by 40% by 2020, the NSW Government is introducing a refund container deposit scheme (CDS), Return and Earn, set to roll out across the state from 1 December 2017.

Resource recovery

Resource recovery orders and resource recovery exemptions allow some wastes to be beneficially and safely re-used independent of the usual NSW laws that control waste.

Reusing recycled materials

Read information and guidance on some commonly recycled materials.

Business and government recycling

Learn how the EPA works with businesses and government to improve recycling and reduce our impact on the environment.

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