How are we going to deal with waste in the future in Byron Shire?

Published on 19 December 2019

Overfull bin

Byron Shire Council has been looking at how to deal with waste over the next 10 years and beyond. 

Council’s  draft  waste management strategy, Towards Zero – Byron Shire’s Integrated Waste Management  and Resource Recovery Strategy 2019 – 2029 steps out a plan that has the aspiration of sending zero waste to landfill in the future. 

Danielle Hanigan, Team Leader of Resource Recovery, said the vision for the Strategy is for Council to transition to being a landfill-free Shire producing zero carbon emissions.

“The Strategy outlines the direction to achieve this vision through best practice waste avoidance, recovery and management,” Ms Hanigan said.

“It’s certainly a big aspiration but our community is very engaged with our waste programs, and there is an expectation that we continue working towards innovative solutions.

“We want this strategy to be a practical document that guides some exciting projects over the next 10 years,” she said.

The Strategy details four main objectives:

  • Empower the community to increase avoidance, reuse and recycling
  • Optimise and enhance solutions to recover, treat and dispose of residual waste
  • Work with business and the tourism sector  to reduce waste to landfill and explore circular economy opportunities
  • Support and lobby State and Federal Governments to facilitate change in waste outcomes.

“We need to work on avoiding the creation of waste in the first place, and this means our focus will be on educating and empowering the community to reduce their waste footprint through avoidance, re-use and recycling,” Ms Hanigan said.

Council will encourage the community and businesses to support the circular economy by purchasing recycled content materials and ensuring reuse and recycling are the preference over single use items.

Another focus of the Strategy is to investigate solutions to recover, treat and dispose of residual waste - which is waste that is unable to be reused, recycled or composted that would normally be sent to landfill. 

This is called alternative waste treatment (AWT), and involves sophisticated technology designed to maximise environmental benefits by processing residual waste, including converting it to an energy or fuel source, where appropriate.

“It is important for our community to understand that we are supporting regional investigations into AWT, and we will only invest in technology that is appropriate for our community, supports existing diversion, recycling and organics systems and produces a positive outcome for our environment,” Ms Hanigan said.

“This sort of investment is beyond the capacity of Byron Shire and we are working closely with other councils in the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast to investigate the feasibility of long-term regional solutions for waste, with sustainable waste management identified as a key priority for our region,” she said. 

The draft Towards Zero – Byron Shire’s Integrated Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy 2019 – 2029 aims to realise a number of significant projects both locally and regionally that will see the sustainable management of waste for many years to come.

Towards Zero – Byron Shire’s Integrated Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy 2019 – 2029 is on public exhibition to 29 January 2020.

To read the strategy go to www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Draft_Towards_Zero_Strategy

For media enquiries call Annie Lewis, Media and Communications Coordinator, on 66267320.

 

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