Local council operations

The EPA provides waste and recycling program and infrastructure funding for local councils, and support for groups of councils to collaborate across regions. Additional assistance includes advice, innovative tools, training and capacity building, handbooks, and guidelines.

Regional coordination and support program

The EPA supports regional collaboration between local councils. It supports the work of 14 regional waste groups to reduce waste, increase recycling and combat illegal dumping and littering. Each group also delivers regional waste strategies and helps to coordinate regional projects and grants.

Under the Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 Stage 1 2021–2041 - Stage 1: 2021-2027 (WASM), the State Government has committed $15.6 million over 5 years until 2027 to fund the Regional Coordination and Support Program to support delivery  of positive waste and recycling outcomes and transition to a circular economy.

The Regional Organisation of Councils, joint organisations and voluntary regional waste groups will use the funding to coordinate a regional approach to the WASM strategy.

Submitting regional plans

Final document submission
Plans should be submitted by 31 July 2022, however, to align with council’s timelines, plans can be delivered by 30 November 2022.

The action plan can be prepared after the regional response document is developed and after further information is available on the WASM program timelines and the new monitoring and evaluation framework is ready.

Action plan submission
The first action plan is due by the end of 2022. It can be set for the length of time that suits the region’s needs (for example 1, 2 or 3 years) and should be submitted annually.

The EPA funds the collaborative work of several regional groups of councils in NSW to deliver regional waste strategies and coordinate regional projects and grants.

Sydney, Illawarra and Hunter Region

In Sydney, Illawarra and Hunter, the regional groups cover 46 councils and 5.1 million people.

  • SSROC – Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils
  • WSROC – Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils
  • MSWA– Macarthur Strategic Waste Alliance
  • NSROC – Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils
  • ISJO - Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation
  • HJO - Hunter Joint Organisation.

For a full list of the member councils within these regional waste groups, see Funding for regional collaboration

Supported by EPA funding, Renew NSW represents 8 voluntary regional waste management groups (VRWGs). This Renew NSW network covers 80 councils and 1.8 million people across rural and regional NSW.

The groups represented by Renew NSW develop and deliver collaborative projects to implement their regional waste strategies. Their strategies seek to improve waste management and resource recovery practices in rural and regional NSW.

Since they were formalised in 2002, these voluntary regional waste management groups have successfully collaborated across regions by:

  • improving service delivery in regional and rural areas
  • developing consistent research methods
  • sharing skills and resources
  • negotiating cost-effective contracts

The 8 groups under the umbrella of Renew NSW are:

  • NEWaste – North East Waste
  • NIRW – Northern Inland Regional Waste
  • MidWaste – Midwaste Regional Forum
  • NetWaste
  • REROC – Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils
  • RAMJO – Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils – Murray Group
  • RAMJO – Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils – Riverina Group
  • CRJO – Canberra Region Joint Organisation

Regional waste strategies (now Regional Responses to WASM) help regions assess their current situation, and work out where they want to go and how to get there. These strategies determine the region's priorities and identify current and future infrastructure needs.

Regional waste strategies typically focus on

  • increasing dry recycling
  • targeting organics in the waste stream
  • reducing waste to landfill
  • combating illegal dumping and littering

EPA guidance for preparing regional waste strategies

The EPA provides regional waste strategy guidance for councils, regional organisations of councils (ROCs) and voluntary regional waste groups. The guidance helps these groups develop regional waste strategies. It includes advice on how to structure their strategies, to maintain a consistent approach.

Under the Local Government Waste and Resource Recovery Program, the EPA provided support and funding through 2017-21, including:

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