City of Sydney expands waste collection services

City of Sydney expands waste collection services
E waste

The City of Sydney has announced what it claims is the most comprehensive strategy to tackle residential waste in Australia, which will see the City trial separate weekly residential rubbish collections for food waste and textiles as well as introduce weekly e-waste pick-ups.

The ‘Leave Nothing to Waste’ strategy was opened for comment earlier this year, where it received strong support from residents and businesses in favour of the City’s ambitious target of zero waste to landfill. A series of new collections was thus unanimously approved by council, with services including:

  • A trial of residential food waste collection. Targeted groups of residents can opt in to have their food waste collected separately and taken to a facility where it will be converted into high-grade compost or energy.
  • Clothing and textiles collection from apartment buildings. Residents will be able to throw all their old clothing in a communal waste bin, which will then be collected and recycled.
  • Weekly kerbside electronic waste collection. Residents will be able to book in a free pick-up each week, with their old electronics taken to a facility where precious minerals and materials will be collected and re-used.
  • A community drop-off centre for problem waste streams such as gas bottles, paints and chemicals.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the plan will set a new benchmark for residential waste collection across the country, claiming, “Australians are becoming increasingly concerned about where their rubbish ends up.”

According to Moore, the City of Sydney currently diverts 69% of its residents’ ~65,000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year. The new strategy will help increase that to 90% by 2030.

“More than 5% of the average red bin is made up of clothing,” said Moore, who claims that cheap clothing and fast fashion have “led to a sharp growth in textile waste”.

“Our textiles collection trial will seek to solve this waste stream, with separate clothing bins to become a feature of bin rooms in many apartment buildings across the city.”

Moore added that Sydney residents have shown particular interest in the food waste trial, with food waste currently making up one-third of the average red bin. The City will strive to get the trial up and running over the next two years, according to Moore.

As a result of feedback from community consultation, the City will also investigate including soft plastics on the list of items to be accepted at the community waste drop-off centre.

“The ABC’s War on Waste program put the spotlight on how harmful soft plastics can be,” said Moore. “Residents and businesses have asked us to look at how the City can help keep soft plastics such as shopping bags out of landfill and waterways.

“We will continue to pressure the NSW Government to ban the plastic bag.”

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