Waste levy wanted

Article image - Waste levy wanted Only eight percent of the Waste levy collected is returned to councils for closing the circle on waste.

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on the New South Wales (NSW) Government to return waste levy money collected in Western Sydney back to the region.

WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert, said, “Each year councils pay the NSW Government a significant levy on waste sent to landfill.

“The aim of the levy is admirable – to discourage landfill and encourage recycling and reuse – however, only a small percentage is actually used for this purpose.

“Of the $255 million the NSW Government collected from Greater Western Sydney councils in the last five years, just $20 million has been returned. That’s a $234 million gap.

“In the current climate, this is completely unacceptable. Sydney is growing at a rampant pace, which is straining both council services and existing waste processing infrastructure run by the private sector.

“The NSW Government should be using waste levy money for the purpose it was collected – to promote a more sustainable waste sector.”

Cr Calvert said improving recycling and resource recovery in Western Sydney was a critical part of this, as the region processed the majority of waste across Greater Sydney.

“We should be seeing $234 million invested in helping councils adapt to the new market conditions caused by the China Sword Policy, investing in the development of local recycling markets and waste processing infrastructure, and implementing measures to reduce waste generation.

“Where has this money gone?

“It is true that all levels of government have a role to play in improving our waste and recycling industries, however the NSW Government is not addressing this situation with the resources it has available.

Greater Western Sydney councils include: Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Lithgow, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith
and Wollondilly.