Towards Zero Integrated Waste Strategy 2019 to 2029

Towards Zero - Byron Shire’s Integrated Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2019-2029 has been developed by asking the key questions relating to our waste behaviours:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How do we want to get there?
The Strategy document steps out our 10-year plan to transition to a Shire that is carbon neutral by 2025, and sending zero waste to landfill. It's a big aspiration, but we are up for the challenge!

Waste hierarchy and circular economy frameworks 

Underpinning the Towards Zero Strategy are the waste hierarchy and circular economy frameworks.

The waste hierarchy is a set of priorities for the efficient use of resources, beginning with refusing and reducing waste at the top, down to landfilling waste at the bottom. In order to do this we need a circular economy.

Unlike a linear and recycling economy, a circular economy uses waste over and over with the aim of not producing any waste. With these frameworks at the core of the strategy, we can look to avoiding waste before we need to recover and treat it.


Where are we now?

The Byron Shire community like many Australians are realising the detrimental impact of single-use items, over-consumption and global supply chains. We cannot afford to bury our heads or our waste in the ground any longer. It is important that we address the waste challenges and develop resilient and sustainable systems at a local scale.

As technology advances, the availability of land fills reduces and community demands for environmentally-friendly and sustainable outcomes grow, Councils like Byron Shire are looking for a regional solution. 

Where do we want to be?

We aim to send zero waste to landfill through higher order outcomes, transitioning infrastructure and investing in innovative solutions that can recover the waste we cannot avoid. We are looking at various options in alternative waste treatment (AWT) and waste to energy (W2E), but through a waste hierarchy framework our top priority needs to be avoidance and reuse.

How do we want to get there?

The vision of the Towards Zero strategy will be given traction through four key objectives, each with their own specific goals and actions.

These objectives are to:

  1. Empower the community to increase avoidance, reuse and recycling activities(PDF, 4MB)
  2. Maintain and enhance solutions to recover/treat/dispose of residual waste(PDF, 5MB)
  3. Work with the business and tourism sector to reduce waste to landfill(PDF, 4MB)
  4. Support and lobby for NSW and Federal Government action to help reduce overall waste generation and disposal(PDF, 4MB)

Waste recovery markets and technology are constantly changing and while we can look at what is currently available, we also want to be open to new and developing innovations.

We are working towards zero and are committed long term to achieving best practice waste industry outcomes.