Waste management company SITA Australia has received a grant of almost $2.6 million to help keep more of our organic garden waste out of landfill.
MP for Menai Melanie Gibbons says this will be done via construction of critical new recycling infrastructure at Lucas Heights and supported by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
Ms Gibbons said the grant, awarded by the Environmental Trust as part of the $465.7 million Waste Less, Recycle More (WLRM) initiative involved relocating the facility to a new position on the site, building a new partially enclosed aerated floor bunker and covering active compost areas with new technology covers.
“The infrastructure upgrades will improve efficiency, environmental performance and reduce odours. It will also turn more garden waste from kerbside collections across Sydney into beneficial compost,” Ms Gibbons said.
“This project supports the NSW Government’s challenging task under Waste Less, Recycle More to get food and garden organic waste out of landfill to be put to better use.
“Rather than be dumped in landfill to rot, food and garden waste will be recovered and recycled back in to the productive economy as reusable product such as compost.
“This project is expected to divert 80,000 tonnes of organics waste from landfill each year and generate 10 new jobs.
“It’s one of a number of projects being supported across NSW to boost recycling to meet our ambitious targets to divert 75 per cent of all waste from landfill by 2021, Ms Gibbons said.
NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes said the project was one of five supported in Round 1 of the $43 million Organics Infrastructure (Large) program which collectively are expected to divert more than 117,400 tonnes of food and garden waste from landfill a year.
“EPA research shows almost half of the waste in household red lid bins going to landfill in NSW is food and garden organic waste that could be recycled and put to better use,” Mr Stokes said.
“This is the equivalent of every household throwing $1,000 worth of food away every year which when combined would be enough food to fill up to 80,000 garbage trucks.
“In addition the cost of food waste to businesses is also significant with an estimated $36 million spent on landfilled organics waste annually.
“When you consider that this organic waste could all be processed into reuseable compost, it makes sense economically and environmentally to invest in infrastructure projects to recycle organics waste back into the productive economy rather than throwing it away to rot.”
The EPA’s Waste Less Recycle More initiative is a five year $465.7 million program that includes funding for business recycling, market development, managing problem wastes, new waste infrastructure, local councils and programs to tackle illegal dumping and litter.
Grants are delivered through a partnership of the EPA and the NSW Environmental Trust. A full list of grant recipients and more information about the Waste Less, Recycle More program is available at http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/WasteLess.htm