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                    [post_date] => 2017-08-14 12:55:26
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                    [post_content] => 

Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) president Mayor David O’Loughlin writes that the waste fiasco exposed in the ABC Four Corners report is a complex issue that will have wide-ranging implications for local governments.

For those of us who care about the environment and the efficient recycling of Australia's household and industrial waste, the ABC's Four Corners program was troubling.

The factors behind the mess Four Corners exposed on Monday may be complex – but we can play a powerful role in fixing them, if we choose to.

Four Corners' revelations will undermine the public's confidence in Australia’s waste management systems and, in turn, confidence in their local Council and the amount of rates they are paying for recycling services.

We know, however, that the vast majority of Local Governments across Australia manage their waste collection and recycling operations professionally and in an environmentally sustainable manner, after sustained improvements in policy and practice over decades.

We also know that Australia's waste management system is subject to market forces, private practice and regulation that is outside the control of our sector, with cross-border differences exacerbating local issues.

What also appears to be common is a failure of other levels of governments to effectively patrol the beat - to identify, penalise and stamp out individuals or companies conducting illegal dumping or other practices that undermine the industry as a whole.

And, as the Four Corners program showed, the indiscriminate imposition or removal of state landfill levies create disincentives for recycling, and encourages illegal dumping.

State government-imposed levies were originally well intended: to support recycling, to reduce waste going to landfills, to remediate landfill sites, and to educate consumers. Some of this has happened, but there is much more to do and the funds appear to be more and more difficult to access to achieve this.

In the absence of sufficient leadership or discipline by others, how can Local Government get the results our communities increasingly expect and demand?

We may not have regulatory powers, but what we do have is procurement power.

Waste management is one of our largest areas of contracted services. We spend vast amounts of money in this area and we can choose how we spend it and who we spend it with.

We can also choose our contract conditions, and how we will enforce those contract conditions. As a client, we can insist on the right to inspect and audit the services we contract, to confirm they are receiving and recycling as contracted, as we are paying them to do, and as we have told our communities we are doing on their behalf.

The control and enforcement of our contracted services can be in our hands, if we choose it to be.

In addition, if the issue is a lack of market demand for recycled products, or products containing recycled material, our procurement powers can also be used to choose and purchase these products in preference to others. In doing so we will be making a clear statement that we want to create a sustainable destination for recyclables - and that we are prepared to trial them, to use them, and to preference them.

Sustainable and valuable recycling requires a circular economy. If we want the supply side to work, we should step up and be part of the demand side.

As an elected member, if you care about recycling, have you checked your Council’s procurement policies? Have you asked if your road building specifications state a preference for recycled material, including glass and construction waste? Or that your posts, fences and benches should use recycled plastics? Are your paper sources all recycled? Are you prepared to ask your Council to trial new products to help create new markets?

As per my recent column, ALGA will continue to do all we can on the national front to improve results, to better design product stewardship schemes and to keep Local Government at the table as part of the solution.

You can do your part locally by checking your contracts, your reporting and enforcement practices, and by ensuring your procurement policies help and don't hinder the use of recyclables. In doing so, you should ask if your own Council would survive the level of scrutiny we witnessed on the television.

Let's aim to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
                    [post_title] => The waste problem is a problem for all
                    [post_excerpt] => The waste fiasco exposed in the Four Corners report will have wide-ranging implications for local governments.
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                    [post_date] => 2017-08-03 18:55:38
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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27755" align="alignnone" width="287"] 
Cr Jennifer Alden, Craig Lloyd and Cr Andrea Metcalf (L-R).[/caption] Recent audits of local waste and recycling bins have shown that Greater Bendigo residents are still sending significant amounts of recyclables straight to landfill by placing many items that could be recycled into their waste bins. In an effort to improve recycling rates, the City of Greater Bendigo has launched a new community education Sort it out before you throw it out! advertising campaign. The campaign will provide useful information about the items that residents are currently not recycling to make them aware that they can. It will utilise television, radio, print, social media and signage to encourage residents to think about and improve the way they sort their waste, organics and recycling. City of Greater Bendigo Presentation and Assets director Craig Lloyd said the City’s recent waste bin audits showed that 40% of the contents of local waste bins should have been placed in the recycling bin while 22 per cent could have gone in the organics bin. “The audit is backed up by State Government figures that place Greater Bendigo in the bottom 50 per cent of Victoria’s 79 local government areas for waste resource recovery,” said Mr Lloyd. “Unfortunately, many Greater Bendigo residents are still placing recyclables such as paper and cardboard, glass bottles and jars, cans, plastics and organic garden and food waste in their red lid waste bin. “Objects that can be recycled are a valuable resource and the cost of sending waste to landfill will continue to rise so the more we recycle and the less we send to landfill the better. “Greater Bendigo wants to become one of, if not the best, local government area for resource recovery in the future. “Many people may be surprised to learn that Greater Bendigo residents are not very good at recycling and we want to see this change for the better in the near future.” Results from the audit:-
  • The average residential red lid waste bin contains 40% recyclable items, 22% organics and 38% actual waste.
  • The recyclable materials found in the red lid waste bin were mostly paper and cardboard, glass, plastic and metals.
  • The organic materials found in the red lid waste bin were mostly grass clippings and leaves, general food waste and food in packaging.
  • The average residential recycling bin contains 9% contamination. This is comprised of 5.3% general waste and 3.7% of materials such as clothing, crockery and scrap metal that cannot be processed through the kerbside recycling collection.
  • The average organics bin contains 2% contamination. This is comprised of 1% general waste and 1% recyclables such as glass, plastics and metals.
  [post_title] => Recycling audit hopes to educate [post_excerpt] => City of Greater Bendigo has launched a community recycling education campaign. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => recycling-audit-hopes-educate [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-03 18:55:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-03 08:55:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27754 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27685 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-07-24 20:05:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-24 10:05:44 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27686" align="alignnone" width="300"] This box is filled with 200,000 cigarette butts displayed to highlight the impact that littering has on streets and waterways.[/caption] The City of Melbourne has become one of only two councils in Australia to run a citywide initiative to recycle millions of cigarette butts into industrial products. “We collect more than 200,000 cigarette butts each week from 367 cigarette butt bins across the city: litter that may otherwise end up being washed down drains and into the Yarra River,” Lord Mayor Robert Doyle AC said. “Cigarette butts are not biodegradable and break down slowly. As part of this project, we will recycle binned cigarette butts into practical items such as shipping pallets and plastic furniture. “We have collected 1.2 million butts from around Melbourne’s universities and hospitals and busy CBD locations that can be recycled.” The City of Melbourne has partnered with Enviropoles, which collects the cigarette waste, and TerraCycle, which converts the butts into plastic products. The project is funded through the Victorian Government’s Litter Hotspots program. Studies have shown that of the four disposal routes (recycling, litter, landfill, and incineration), recycling the cigarette butts has the lowest global warming impact. The City of Melbourne has placed a perspex box filled with 200,000 cigarette butts on the banks of the Yarra River to highlight the impact that littering has on the city’s streets and waterways. Chairwoman of the City of Melbourne’s Environment portfolio Councillor Cathy Oke said the project has been completed in Vancouver and New Orleans before, but Melbourne is leading the charge in Victoria to tackle recycling cigarette waste. “Cities around the world are looking for new ways to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, and Melbourne is leading the way,” Cr Oke said “Cigarette butts are the most littered item in Australia. Butts are commonly mistaken for food by marine life and have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, sea turtles and other marine creatures.” The Perspex box full of cigarette butts was placed in Queensbridge Square, where three solar compaction litter bins are located. Cr Oke said the City of Melbourne is installing more than 360 smart bins in the CBD following a successful trial of 17 bins last year. “We collect around nine million butts in our litter bins every year. We hope this project will motivate smokers to place their cigarette butts in one of the butt bins located around the CBD.” Previous surveys have found that around 10,500 cigarette butts from the central city are being deposited on the ground every day. The City of Melbourne spends approximately $13 million on waste services each year (collection and disposal).   [post_title] => Butts into better things [post_excerpt] => Melbourne is recycling cigarette butts into plastic industrial products. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => we-want-your-butt [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-25 12:21:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-25 02:21:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27685 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27487 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-06-27 07:17:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-26 21:17:58 [post_content] => The mobile phone industry’s product stewardship program MobileMuster has commended the efforts of local councils who have dramatically increased their collections and helped make recycling more accessible to the community. Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP Minister for Environment and Energy said eight councils from across Australia were recognised as Australia’s top recyclers. “Electronic waste is one of the fastest growing waste issues in Australia and it’s great to see MobileMuster bringing industry and local government together to make it easy to recycle and deliver important environmental benefits to our communities.” The top achievers The following councils took out top honours in the awards:
  • National Top Collector per Capita – District Council of Orroroo – Carrieton (SA).
  • NSW Top Collector – New South Wales – Hornsby Shire Council.
  • Territory Top Collector – Northern Territory – Alice Springs Town Council.
  • QLD Top Collector – Queensland – Brisbane City Council.
  • WA Top Collector – Western Australia – City of Stirling.
  • SA Top Collector – South Australia – City of Onkaparinga.
  • TAS Top Collector – Tasmania – Burnie City Council.
  • VIC Top Collector – Victoria – Moonee Valley City Council.
Recycling manager for MobileMuster Spyro Kalos said: “While council collections have been steadily growing in the last couple of years, it’s great to see an even higher lift this year with councils helping inform and educate their residents about recycling.” “In the last year, councils have increased their collections by a huge 25% and recycled over 4.5 tonnes of mobiles phone and components through the program. “Over the last decade, local government partners have collected 35 tonnes of mobiles phone components for recycling, including approximately 420,000 handsets and batteries. “However, with an estimated 23 million old mobile phones sitting in drawers waiting to be recycled, including five million that are broken and no longer working, MobileMuster will continue to work with councils to encourage residents to recycle responsibly,” Mr Kalos said. The top Mobile Muster councils in each state were: New South Wales
  1. Hornsby Shire Council
  2. City of Sydney
  3. Randwick City Council
  4. Lake Macquarie City Council
  5. Burwood Council
Northern Territory
  1. Alice Springs Town Council
  2. East Arnhem Shire Council
  3. West Arnhem Regional Council
Queensland
  1. Brisbane City Council
  2. Redland City Council
  3. Townsville City Council
  4. Scenic Rim Regional Council
  5. Cairns Regional Council
South Australia
  1. City of Onkaparinga
  2. City of Charles Sturt
  3. City of Tea Tree Gully
  4. City of Mitcham
  5. City of Port Adelaide Enfield
Tasmania
  1. Burnie City Council
  2. Launceston City Council
  3. Glenorchy City Council
  4. Break O’Day Council
  5. Kingborough Council
Victoria
  1. Moonee Valley City Council
  2. Nillumbik Shire Council
  3. City of Monash
  4. Latrobe City Council
  5. City of Greater Geelong
Western Australia
  1. City of Stirling
  2. City of South Perth
  3. City of Fremantle
  4. City of Cockburn
  5. City of Vincent
[post_title] => Council recycling up 25% [post_excerpt] => Recycling of old mobile phones by councils is up 25%, to 4.5 tonnes. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => council-recycling-25 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-27 11:23:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-27 01:23:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27487 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27365 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-06-13 12:21:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-13 02:21:00 [post_content] => Stinky wheelie bins, noisy garbage trucks and scavenging rodents will never plague Maroochydore’s new city centre on the Sunshine Coast. Rather than employing a fleet of wheelie bins and rubbish trucks, Sunshine Coast Council will suck rubbish from waste inlets in the walls of apartments and commercial buildings at speeds of up to 70kmh through a 6.5 kilometre system of underground vacuum pipes, lurking beneath Australia’s newest, 53-hectare city. Three colour-coded waste inlets will deal with general waste, recyclables and organics and each will be compartmentalised and sealed underground until the vacuum pump gets switched on to suck it into the central waste facility, probably twice daily. There will also be waste inlets above ground in public areas which will look a bit like daleks. The waste is then put into sealed compactors and once or twice a week the council receives a message indicating the compactor is full and the waste needs to be collected. The council’s Director of Infrastructure Services Andrew Ryan said the Swedish system, pioneered in 1965, was already popular in the Northern Hemisphere and would be the first one installed in Australia. He said the process functioned similarly to sewerage and water systems. The system will cost $21 million to install but Mr Ryan said costs would be recouped from CBD occupants over the life of the project, around 25 to 30 years. The council will build the central waste collection centre and charge per property to cover operational and collection costs. “One of the things we really liked about this system is they work really well in large-scale, medium density masterplan communities [like Maroochydore], particularly where the developer has a long-term interest in the precinct,” Mr Ryan said. “The most obvious advantages are you have a public realm that doesn’t have garbage trucks trundling up and down the street in the early morning or at night. There’s no noise, no smell and no vermin. “Buildings can have active frontages because you’re just dealing with a pipe [not bins] and you save on labour costs.” Mr Ryan said Sydney and Melbourne had a good look at the system but it was difficult for the business case to stack up because of the cost of sinking pipes underground in an already established city centre, although he said Barcelona and Singapore had both done retrofits. The system was most suited to medium to high density masterplan communities of between 3000 to 5000 people or a resort-style development where five or six buildings were located together. But it is not just about waste collection. At the same time, the council will install a high-speed fibre optic network as part of its smart cities’ project. This will provide free Wi-Fi hotspots, movement sensors, smart signs and lighting. The council is not hanging about. The pipes should be in the ground within three months and the central collection centre should be operational by December 2018. [post_title] => Council dumps wheelie bins for whizz-bang underground waste system [post_excerpt] => Maroochydore in Australian first. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => council-dumps-wheelie-bins-whizz-bang-underground-waste-system [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-13 13:00:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-13 03:00:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27365 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27042 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-04 10:27:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-04 00:27:37 [post_content] =>   Cumberland Council will press ahead with a controversial plan to outsource kerbside waste and recycling before September’s local government elections. The Western Sydney suburbs council, born out of a forced merger between Holroyd and Auburn Councils and part of Parramatta in May 2016, has put the council’s waste and recycling services out to tender with a deadline of May 26. Up for grabs are services include kerbside garbage; recyclables; organics and garden waste; council clean ups and picking up dumped rubbish and this covers around  70,000 housesholds. This translates annually into dealing with around 60,000 tonnes of garbage; 14,000 tonnes of recycling and 5,500 tonnes of organic and green waste, as well as two to four council clean ups a year and collecting dumped rubbish within 24 hours of it being reported. Government News understands that new contractors could take over from as early as August. They will manage the transition to a new service and begin a four-year contract from January 2019 with the option to extend this by three years. Council Administrator Viv May commissioned reviews into council services, including garbage collection and council swimming pools, after taking over last year. The waste review, written by council officers, showed a marked preference towards outsourcing services to the private sector and argued that the council could cut its costs by 20 per cent through bigger contracts and reduced operating costs. Most of the council’s waste and recycling services are currently delivered by council garbos, apart from waste services in Woodville Ward, which used to come under Parramatta Council, and the recyclables collection in the former Holroyd Council area. Mr May has copped flak from former Holroyd Mayor Greg Cummings, as well as resistance from the United Services Union (USU), which represents local government workers in NSW. Mr Cummings said Mr May was ‘overstepping his responsibilities’ and driving changes through before the council went into caretaker mode in early August. “This is done at break-neck speed to make sure it’s done before an elected council can review it,” Mr Cummings said. “By all means collect the information and get a report but it should be there ready for the democratically elected council to review.” Mr Cummings said Mr May was known to be an enthusiastic advocate of outsourcing and had a track record in that area. Mr May spent 27 years as Mosman Council’s General Manager where he outsourced the council’s  outdoor work and reduced council employed outdoor workers from more than 100 to six. Mr Cummings also criticised the council for omitting diversion to landfill in the tender. He said that the former Holroyd Council had managed to divert 62 per cent of green waste from landfill using UR-3R alternative waste treatment plant in Eastern Creek. But Cumberland Council’s Group Manager, Roads and Waste Peter Fitzgerald defended the decision to go out to competitive tender. He said the council’s review estimated it would yield more than $16 million in savings and ensure a more consistent service. It would also finally give Woodville ward residents a green waste bin so they would no longer have to trek to the council’s depot. “Given that the existing contract for waste services in the Woodville ward expires in November this year council could not wait any longer to make a decision about the provision of waste services,” Mr Fitzgerald said. “Council must provide a consistent service to all residents irrespective of which part of the council area they live in.” He said around 34 council staff would be affected by decision. “All affected council staff have been assured that if they want a job with council they will still have a job with council, regardless of the decision to call tenders for these services,” Mr Fitzgerald said. Mr May told Government News in October last year that Administrators had the same powers as mayors and councillors and would make decisions accordingly.  The USU is not convinced and has come out against the outsourcing plans, arguing that service levels will drop and rates will rise. It led a public rally against Cumberland Council outsourcing in February. The USU website says of the tender: “We all know that private waste collection companies don’t care about ratepayers or the local community, they only care about one thin: delivering profit margins to their shareholders. “The contractors won’t have time to do missed services or go the extra mile by taking your bin in if you can’t. Yes, that’s what the hard working council garbos do for the community.” But disentangling the legacy of three different councils’ waste and recycling services will not be easy. The council will have to pay out staff redundancies and long service leave along with paying penalties on any contracts which are terminated early, some of which do not expire until 2020. The United Services Union has been contacted for comment. More to follow. [post_title] => Merged NSW council outsources rubbish and recycling before councillors elected [post_excerpt] => Union and ex-mayor enter fray. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27042 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-04 10:27:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-04 00:27:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27042 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26273 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-02-17 11:09:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-17 00:09:19 [post_content] =>       The NSW Container Deposit scheme (CDS) will be delayed by five months to give local councils and industry and environment groups longer to prepare. NSW Environment and Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton said the CDS would be rolled out from December 1, 2017 rather than from July, as originally planned. It also means the cash for cans program will have broader coverage across the state and take in more rural and regional areas. Ms Upton said groups such as Clean Up Australia and the Boomerang Alliance, as well as drinks industry stakeholders had asked for an extension. “This will be the biggest initiative to tackle litter in the state’s history – stakeholder feedback is vital to get the scheme right,” Ms Upton said. Under the scheme, NSW residents can return most empty drink containers between 150 ml and three litres to collection points in return for a 10-cent refund. The aim is to significantly reduce the estimated 160 million drink containers littered every year and ease the burden on local councils.   Local Government NSW President Keith Rhoades called it ‘an eminently sensible decision’. "Councils spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year picking up litter, and would much prefer to be investing this money in other community services,” Mr Rhoades said.  "The scheme has the potential to cut litter in NSW by up to 43 per cent, but the complexity of the collection and refund processes required have become increasingly clear.” He said the five-month extension would make it easier to ensure the supporting infrastructure and resources were in place before the scheme began, as well as rolling it out to other local government areas. Boomerang Alliance Director Jeff Angel said the Alliance fought hard for the container deposit scheme and wanted to ensure it would work efficiently for the community and business to maximise the environmental benefits. “The Alliance understood that getting the container deposit scheme up and running was a very complicated process. It’s better to delay the implementation by a few months, so the scheme is ready from day one,” Mr Angel said. Industry groups were also pleased about the delay. Tanya Barden, Director of Economics and Sustainability Australian Food and Grocery Council, said the drinks industry supported an efficient and effective container deposit scheme in NSW. “We’re pleased that the NSW Government has listened to industry and environmental groups’ views about the complexity of introducing such as scheme. This extension allows the time to put the fundamentals in place so that the scheme can operate smoothly for both consumers and industry,” Ms Barden said. The 2015-2016 National Litter Index found that 49 per cent of litter by volume was made up of beverage containers – and 43 per cent of the total volume was containers that will be caught by the NSW container deposit scheme. Ms Upton said container deposit schemes operate in more than 40 jurisdictions around the world and are a proven and efficient way to recover litter and increase recycling of beverage containers. [post_title] => NSW container deposit scheme delayed until December [post_excerpt] => Move welcomed by councils. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26273 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-19 10:46:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-19 00:46:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26273 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25905 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-12-20 16:10:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-20 05:10:05 [post_content] =>   Garbage truck with worker, Five metropolitan Adelaide councils have had their attempts to jointly procure waste management services cruelled by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Adelaide City, Charles Sturt, Marion, Tea Tree Gully and Port Adelaide Enfield Councils, along with Council Solutions, wanted to club together and contract out their waste collection, recyclables, organics collection and processing and waste disposal services, a contract which would have lasted 17 years. The councils wanted to cover all four waste and recycling service streams in a single tender using a Request for Proposal (RFP). But the ACCC stepped in, handing down its decision today (December 20) after receiving a large number of public submissions about the plan, the large majority of which were opposed. One of the main issues raised by the submissions was that the scope and nature of the proposal would present an unprecedented level of complexity for bidders and prevent some businesses from taking part. The Commission authorised the plan in draft in February this year but reversed its decision after it concluded that the public benefit from the scheme would be outweighed by the negatives caused by decreasing competition by only having one tender under RFP. Although the ACCC said the proposal could result in small improvements in community education, the supply of recyclables and organics processing and environmental outcomes, it noted it could be detrimental to the public interest because it could:
  • Deter or prevent some potential suppliers from tendering or from submitting competitive bids
  • Reduce competition for the supply of waste services to participating councils in the longer term
  • Reduce competition for the supply of waste services to non-participating councils
ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said: “Overall, the ACCC is not satisfied that a joint procurement process would produce a public benefit that would outweigh the effects of a lessening of competition. “In this case, given the size and scope of the proposed conduct and the uncertainty about the possible outcomes arising from the request for proposal process, the ACCC is not satisfied that net public benefits are likely,” Ms Court said.   [post_title] => SA councils bins bid blocked by ACCC [post_excerpt] => Hurts competition, says Commission. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sa-councils-bins-bid-blocked-accc [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-20 16:10:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-20 05:10:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25905 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25518 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-11-08 15:18:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-08 04:18:42 [post_content] => light-years-ahead2_opt Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Council's Light Years Ahead program     NSW local government environment stars have been busy over the past year, with projects encompassing a broad range of areas, including sustainable procurement; climate change action; asbestos management; communication, education and empowerment; roadside management and water conservation. The best of the best will be honoured in the annual Local Government Excellence in the Environment Awards later this month. The top two awards are for overall council performance and another celebrating the achievements of an individual council officer or councillor who has been a beacon to sustainability. Please see below for a full list of finalists. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 29 November 2016 at Doltone House, Darling Island Wharf, Sydney.   2016 Finalists Asbestos Management Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils - Western Sydney Asbestos Answers Facebook campaign Climate Change Action Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Holroyd, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith Councils - Light years ahead Blacktown City Council - Cool streets Hunter & Central Coast Regional Environmental Management Strategy- Regional heatwave resilience project Penrith City Council - Cooling the city   Communication, Education and Empowerment   Leichhardt Municipal Council (Inner West Council) - On tour: sustainable food, fashion and fun! MIDWASTE - Frugal forest Rockdale City Council (Bayside Council) - Engaging the community: landing lights wetland restoration Waverley Council - Second Nature 'I'm in' community engagement campaign   frugal-forest_opt MIDWASTE'S Frugal Forest  Community Sharps Management City of Ryde Council – Sharps Disposal Invasive Species Management    Bankstown City Council (City of Canterbury-Bankstown) - Feral rabbit management in urban Bankstown Camden Council - Management of Australian white ibis at Lake Annan, Mount Annan Clarence Valley Council - Use community based social marketing for effective tropical soda apple management Palerang Council (Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional Council) - Weed identification and mapping from high resolution aerial photography   [caption id="attachment_25522" align="alignnone" width="500"]"Young Mountain Cottontail rabbit Sylvilagus nuttallii resting in grass. Boulder, Colorado, 2009." Former Bankstown Council has won praise for its management of feral rabbits.[/caption]   Natural Environment Policies, Planning and Decision Making     Palerang Council (Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional Council) - Remote pilot aircraft aerial imaging trial Sydney Peri Urban Network of Councils - Sydney food futures project   Natural Environment Protection & Enhancement: On-Ground Works Bankstown City Council (City of Canterbury-Bankstown) - Habitat box program Bathurst Regional Council - Restoring regent honeyeater habitat in the Bathurst region Blue Mountains City Council - Leura Falls catchment improvement project Orange City Council - Gosling Creek Reserve precinct floating island and hollows habitat Parkes Shire Council - PAC Park urban wetland construction Wagga Wagga City Council - Marrambidya Wetland Roadside Environmental Management    Ballina Shire Council - Chickiba Roadside Wetlands restoration project Lachlan Shire Council - Roadside corridor assessment and management guidelines Moree Plains Shire Council - Roadside environmental management plan Sustainable Procurement   Marrickville Council (Inner West Council) - Embedding sustainability into 'value for money'   marrickville-council-procurement_opt Former Marrickville Council's sustainable procurement campaign won plaudits   Resource Recovery    Broken Hill City Council - Increasing resource recovery for Broken Hill Campbelltown City Council - Annual free recyclables drop-off day     Waste Avoidance and Reuse    Lismore City Council - Lismore revolve shop and recycled market Parramatta City Council – The R3 program: resource, rescue and reuse Waste Education and Communication    Lachlan Shire Council - Lachlan Shire waste services rationalisation Warringah Council (Northern Beaches Council) - The Sort it Out campaign     Water Conservation Ballina Shire Council - Pressure and leakage management plan [caption id="attachment_25524" align="alignnone" width="460"]High pressure pipe leaking Finalist: Ballina Shire Council's Pressure and Leak Management Plan[/caption]     Local Sustainability Ballina Shire Council – Sustainability: serving the community of today whilst preparing for the challenges of tomorrow Camden Council - Sustainable Camden Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability Winner to be announced at the Awards on Tuesday 29 November     [post_title] => Full list of finalists: NSW local government environment stars [post_excerpt] => Sharing good ideas. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => full-list-finalists-nsw-local-government-environment-stars [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-11 10:15:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-10 23:15:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25518 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24820 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-08-29 11:25:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-29 01:25:02 [post_content] => Senior male worker operating machine part of dustbin lorry at recycling plant.   What will waste management look like in 2025? Here are our top ten predictions for the future of urban recycling. 1) Route optimisation What night does your bin go on the street? In the future, it might not matter, as dynamic route optimisation will mean that your driver will now be automatically routed to exactly where the waste is. How will you know whether your garbo is coming? Check if your bin is full! And pay when it is. 2) Pay As You Throw Not only will collection companies know whether your bin or skip is full – they will also know how much it weighs and increasingly – what you put in it. This Pay As You Throw (PAYT) model, including weight based charging, will create a greater incentive for generators to seek diversion to recovery. 3) The end of consumer landfill streams? First came dry recycling, which reduced the kerbside landfill bin from 240L to 120L. Then came organics recovery, which reduced its collection to fortnightly. Next, with wet and dry loads diverted directly to a recovery facility, will consumer facing landfill streams become a thing of the past? Welcome to universal recycling, where all bins are recycling bins, and landfill contracts only exist between landfill operators and Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) or composters. 4) City to Soil While professionally managed landfill will be essential infrastructure of the future, putrescible landfill may become a technology of the past. Carbon taxes, increasing community sensitivity and the growing value of organics will drive them into composting. Or for contaminated streams – fuel manufacture. 5) Waste to Fuel Globally, generation of electricity and heat from a waste source has been adopted for decades. However, the desire to substitute fossil fuels in boilers means that MRFs are increasingly adopting fuel manufacture loops. This technology is particularly suited to high calorific, carbon-neutral fuels like tyres and contaminated organics. These fuels will supply diverse energy markets. 6) Infrastructure convergence Fuel manufacturers using facilities like cement kilns is part of a broader trend – the convergence between water, energy and recycling infrastructure. This trend will continue, with organics being treated in sewage treatment plants via co-digestion. Meanwhile, manufacturing sites and MRFs will continue to converge into industrial ecology parks, which will manufacture fuels for collection trucks. 7) Alternative fuels Kerbside and skip collection vehicles, like buses, are ‘back to base’ vehicle fleets. This makes them perfect candidates for alternative fuels. Three alternatives battle in this space – biodiesel (typically B20), gas fuelled trucks and electric trucks. All three will win in different markets and applications. Meanwhile, these trucks will become increasingly automated. 8) Robot recovery Perhaps that six pack you left on the bin will become a battery pack? Robots are rapidly busting into the resource recovery industry – on the kerb and in the MRF. While there will be some job losses from this, experts largely think this will reduce the cost of recovery and increase safety for workers – particularly on picking lines. However, some streams may go directly back to their manufacturers. 9) Recyclers go postal No, it’s not a scene from ‘American Psycho’. Instead, commercial operators like REDcycle and TerraCycle have proven that consumers are willing to mail back materials for recycling – even for tiny items like cigarette butts. In particular, expect e-waste recycling to go postal. This will be important as kerbside bins get less common. 10) High rise recycling With housing prices and demand for inner city living spiking – collection from high density dwellings will increase and kerbside MGB pickups will decrease. This will mean accessing larger bins in smaller spaces (like underground car parks), and increased use of technologies like garbage shoots, onsite compactors and even vacuum collection systems!   This story first appeared in Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo. [post_title] => The future of urban recycling: top 10 predictions [post_excerpt] => Pay as you throw. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-future-of-waste [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-08-30 09:58:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-08-29 23:58:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24820 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24711 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-08-16 05:00:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-15 19:00:59 [post_content] => Focus on two Rubbish bins - red lid is rubbish and yellow lid is recycling   Council amalgamations present the ideal opportunity to renegotiate waste and recycling contracts and squeeze more out of them, says a waste and recycling consultant. Mike Ritchie, Managing Director of waste management consultancy firm MRA Consulting, which has around 200 local government clients, said new councils could save between 5 to 10 per cent on new contracts, primarily because they could take advantage of economies of scale when consolidating their contracts. “Waste contracts seem to be the largest single commercial decision a council makes,” Ritchie said. “They are generally ten-year contracts and worth multi millions per year so it’s very important to get it right. “The benefits of amalgamations are the economies of scale and that it gives councils the chance to review their contracts.” Being larger should give newly amalgamated councils the purchasing power to secure better contracts. Ritchie says that new NSW councils – 19 were created by NSW Premier Mike Baird in May this year – will also be able to cherry pick the best contracts, ideas or practice from each of the old councils. The opportunities for councils also throw up challenges, chief among them being aligning the different end dates of long-term waste and recycling contracts so they can be combined. This could involve extend some contracts by a year or two or staggering the start dates of new contracts, giving the advantage of staggering capital investment for trucks and bins for any company taking over the contract. Breaking a contract can attract heavy penalties, for example councils may have to pay a contractor 30 per cent of the revenue projected for the remainder of the contract’s life. “It’s very expensive and no-one would willingly terminate a contract without just cause,” Ritchie says. However, most contracts have a ‘change in law’ clause, which would cover the Local Government Act and the new council proclamations, providing some wiggle room for negotiation with waste companies but the termination must be ‘reasonable.’ Ritchie advises councils not to terminate contracts immediately but to review current contracts and costs. This means evaluating and benchmark current contracts, including weighing up whether to deliver services in-house or through a private contractor and looking at cost per lift, service frequency and availability, public education and quality of service. He estimates that about 80 per cent of local council waste and recycling is done privately and the trends continues towards this. “Councils are asking us to flag all of the commercial and contractual issues early in all of their contracts before they go to tender or make a decision so they understand their options,” Ritchie says. The downside of mergers, as far as waste and recycling contracts are concerned, is that councils could lose the element of creating tailor-made solutions for local communities.   NSW Container Deposit Scheme July 2017 is the date that the NSW Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) swings into action and councils will need to consider the impact this could have on their waste collection and recycling and build this into new or revised contracts. Ritchie estimates that around 40 per cent of the capacity of yellow kerbside recycling bins will be freed up when the CDS gets underway. This opens up the chance to offer additional services. This could include people being able to dispose of batteries, textiles or bonded polystyrene in separate bags in the yellow bin. It also makes yellow bins more valuable as bottles and containers can be redeemed for 10 cents and means waste material recovery facility (MRF) operators will probably be able to claim some of this. “It makes the bin a hell of a lot more valuable to MRF’s. Councils will be expecting to see the benefit passed back through and tenders need to reflect the changes and the value of the kerbside recycling bin.” He suggests establishing a NSW forum involving state government, local councils and operators to discuss how the new scheme will change kerbside recycling and contracts. “It’s a pretty major change that’s about to happen after twenty years of kerbside recycling. It is fundamental and revolutionary change that offers enormous opportunities,” he says. [post_title] => Rubbish tip: Merged NSW councils urged to rethink waste [post_excerpt] => Kerbside recycling revolution. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => rubbish-tip-merged-nsw-councils-urged-rethink-waste-contracts [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-19 11:00:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-19 01:00:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24711 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24075 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-06-06 15:37:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-06-06 05:37:39 [post_content] => Garbage in the Beach and beautiful seascape in background, Egypt, Red Sea   There will be a container deposit scheme (CDS) in Queensland by the 2018 state election, whichever party seizes power. Liberal Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls announced his support for a container deposit scheme late last week and promised to introduce one to the state if elected in two years. Based on South Australia’s CDS, introduced in 1975, the Queensland scheme will involve a 10 cent deposit charged on drink containers between 150ml and three litres - like plastic bottles and aluminium cans – which will be refunded when the container is returned to a depot or via reverse vending machines. The Liberals have said the scheme would cost about $25 million and be bankrolled by the 20 per cent of containers which are expected not to be returned. In addition, up to 200 jobs would be created. Meanwhile Queensland Environment Minister Stephen Miles said: “I hope this is the LNP turning over a new leaf, supporting sensible ideas to clean up our environment. I’ve got a bunch of other plans they can support too. “It’s a far cry from their position last year when Stephen Bennett said Queensland’s “dispersed population does not lend itself to consolidated container collection and recycling”. He said Labor was committed to investigating a cash for cans type of scheme for Queensland and it had been allowed for in the state budget, due this month. The Queensland government has established an advisory group to design the scheme, including representatives from the drinks industry, local government, waste and recycling firms and environment and community groups. Dr Miles said the CDS would be consistent with the main elements of the NSW scheme, which Premier Mike Baird is aiming to introduce by July 2017. “We’re working closely with New South Wales – who’ve committed to introduce their scheme by 2017 - to ensure any scheme we advance for Queensland is consistent on the key elements with what is rolled out south of the border,” Dr Miles said. “But more than that, achieving consistency between NSW and Queensland will avoid creating major new problems affecting South East Queensland and, especially, the Gold Coast. “An example of what we need to avoid can be seen from what happened when the Newman-Nicholls Government scrapped Queensland’s waste levy. The consequence of that rash decision is that over 300,000 tonnes of garbage from Sydney is now being dumped in the Gold Coast every year." While container deposit schemes have been successful and have popular support, drinks industry giants have been staunch opponents, believing they hit drinks sales hard. [post_title] => Container deposit scheme will happen for Queensland [post_excerpt] => Both parties back cash for cans. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => container-deposit-scheme-will-happen-queensland [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-06-07 09:29:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-06-06 23:29:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24075 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 3 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 23974 [post_author] => 655 [post_date] => 2016-05-25 17:25:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-25 07:25:22 [post_content] => Vinnies 1_opt   People who illegally dump donations outside charity shops will soon have to watch their backs and check for cameras. NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman launched a state government scheme today (Tuesday) to give charities grants of up to $7000 each, which can include cash to fund surveillance equipment, fencing, lighting and gates. The Environment Protection Authority’s Reducing Dumping on Charitable Recyclers project aims to stop sneaky charity shop dumpers in their tracks and save charities millions of dollars and thousands of hours in volunteer time. Susan Goldie, Executive Officer St Vincent De Paul Society Parramatta Central Council, said Vinnies was hugely grateful for good quality donations but illegally dumped donations caused staff extra work. “Almost 50 per cent of funding for Vinnies' works in local communities is generated by the sale of donations through our shops," Ms Goldie said. "Unfortunately though, many of our volunteers are faced with sorting through wet and damaged goods after they have been left outside bins or shop fronts overnight, over weekends and during holidays." Pat Daley from the EPA Charity Recyclers Reference Group said charities struggled to keep up with the volume of unusable goods dumped on doorsteps of charity shops or around donation bins. “Charities rely on donations to raise funds for their important work, but the cost of sorting and disposing unusable goods cuts deeply into fundraising efforts,” Mr Daley said. Mr Speakman said that charities received an estimated two billion items or 300,000 tonnes of goods each year but had to dispose of about 40 per cent of this because it was unusable. "This equates to 120,000 tonnes of waste. The cost alone of getting rid of this rubbish is up to $7 million a year," Mr Speakman said. “The government has been working with charities to help them manage the cost of disposing the unusable goods that are dumped in Australia each year." The Reducing Illegal Dumping on Charitable Recyclers grant program is part of the Government’s $58 million Waste Less, Recycle initiative.  Waste Less, Recycle More is a $465.7 million investment designed to transform waste management and recycling in NSW. More information on the EPA grants scheme is available online at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/wastegrants/charitable-recyclers.htm   [post_title] => Op shop dumpers under surveillance [post_excerpt] => NSW government scheme to deter dumpers. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => op-shop-dumpers-under-surveillance [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-06-09 22:26:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-06-09 12:26:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=23974 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 23830 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-05-10 09:42:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-09 23:42:51 [post_content] =>  Crushed coke can_opt (2)   One of Australia’s largest and most powerful drinks companies has moved to reassure its investors that NSW’s new 10 cent refund container deposit scheme (CDS) will not immediately hit its bottom line but cautioned it was still too early to gauge the future financial impact. The new CDS is slated to start from July next year. It will apply to most drink containers between 150ml and three litres and containers can be dropped off at large depots, pop-up sites or reverse vending machines. The drinks industry has been in high dudgeon over the plans, primarily because beverage suppliers will be forced to fund the 10 cent refund, along with the associated handling and administration fees. The scheme is likely to translate into higher drinks prices and could lower company profits. Coca-Cola Amatil’s (CCA) announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange today (Monday) said: “Given the scheme will not be implemented for some time, there is no immediate impact for the company. CCA is working through the potential implications and once further details are known, will update the market as appropriate. “It is uncertain whether any additional states may consider the introduction of a container deposit scheme, however the Queensland and ACT governments have both previously indicated their interested in developing a similar scheme to, or aligned with, NSW.” South Australian and the Northern Territory both already have similar schemes in place. The drinks industry campaigned for an alternative scheme, Thirst for Good, led by the Australian Food and Grocery Council, with proposed measures including more public bins, extra litter collectors and education programs. The industry said it would contribute $15 million a year towards it. NSW Premier Mike Baird announced the litter-busting move on Sunday afternoon (May 8), possibly hoping that it would be overshadowed by the official announcement of the July federal election and Mother’s Day festivities and fly under the radar with drinks industry executives. Mr Baird said the program would dramatically reduce the amount of litter in the state, much of which is made up of drinks containers. The National Litter Index has reported that drink containers account for some 44 per cent of all litter in a public place. “The scheme we are announcing today is the single largest initiative ever undertaken to reduce litter in NSW,” Mr Baird said. “Giving people a financial incentive to do the right thing and recycle drink containers will help to significantly reduce the estimated 160 million drink containers littered every year.” Greens spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said the NSW decision would provide a “massive impetus” for other states to follow suit. “Ultimately the beverage industry will come to realise that unified national scheme is in their own best interest, rather than having a patchwork of state schemes to deal with.” City of Sydney Council is ahead of the curve and installed four trial reverse vending machines in Haymarket, Circular Quay, Redfern and Wynyard in 2014. The machines offer small rewards, like food truck vouchers or charity donations, in return for plastic bottles and aluminium cans. Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the reverse vending machines had been highly effective in increasing recycling and promoting behavioural change. “Our machines have recycled nearly 2,000 kilograms of cans and bottles since they were installed less than two years ago,” Ms Moore said. “It’s encouraging that so many Sydneysiders have embraced recycling and are doing the right thing by the environment. By using these reverse vending machines, they have saved 139,000 containers from landfill and helped turn rubbish into a valuable resource.” [post_title] => Coca-Cola Amatil reassures investors as NSW container deposit scheme finally approved [post_excerpt] => Litter busting scheme by July 2017. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => coke-reassures-investors-nsw-container-deposit-scheme-approved [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-05-13 11:16:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-05-13 01:16:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=23830 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 4 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27811 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-14 12:55:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-14 02:55:26 [post_content] => Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) president Mayor David O’Loughlin writes that the waste fiasco exposed in the ABC Four Corners report is a complex issue that will have wide-ranging implications for local governments. For those of us who care about the environment and the efficient recycling of Australia's household and industrial waste, the ABC's Four Corners program was troubling. The factors behind the mess Four Corners exposed on Monday may be complex – but we can play a powerful role in fixing them, if we choose to. Four Corners' revelations will undermine the public's confidence in Australia’s waste management systems and, in turn, confidence in their local Council and the amount of rates they are paying for recycling services. We know, however, that the vast majority of Local Governments across Australia manage their waste collection and recycling operations professionally and in an environmentally sustainable manner, after sustained improvements in policy and practice over decades. We also know that Australia's waste management system is subject to market forces, private practice and regulation that is outside the control of our sector, with cross-border differences exacerbating local issues. What also appears to be common is a failure of other levels of governments to effectively patrol the beat - to identify, penalise and stamp out individuals or companies conducting illegal dumping or other practices that undermine the industry as a whole. And, as the Four Corners program showed, the indiscriminate imposition or removal of state landfill levies create disincentives for recycling, and encourages illegal dumping. State government-imposed levies were originally well intended: to support recycling, to reduce waste going to landfills, to remediate landfill sites, and to educate consumers. Some of this has happened, but there is much more to do and the funds appear to be more and more difficult to access to achieve this. In the absence of sufficient leadership or discipline by others, how can Local Government get the results our communities increasingly expect and demand? We may not have regulatory powers, but what we do have is procurement power. Waste management is one of our largest areas of contracted services. We spend vast amounts of money in this area and we can choose how we spend it and who we spend it with. We can also choose our contract conditions, and how we will enforce those contract conditions. As a client, we can insist on the right to inspect and audit the services we contract, to confirm they are receiving and recycling as contracted, as we are paying them to do, and as we have told our communities we are doing on their behalf. The control and enforcement of our contracted services can be in our hands, if we choose it to be. In addition, if the issue is a lack of market demand for recycled products, or products containing recycled material, our procurement powers can also be used to choose and purchase these products in preference to others. In doing so we will be making a clear statement that we want to create a sustainable destination for recyclables - and that we are prepared to trial them, to use them, and to preference them. Sustainable and valuable recycling requires a circular economy. If we want the supply side to work, we should step up and be part of the demand side. As an elected member, if you care about recycling, have you checked your Council’s procurement policies? Have you asked if your road building specifications state a preference for recycled material, including glass and construction waste? Or that your posts, fences and benches should use recycled plastics? Are your paper sources all recycled? Are you prepared to ask your Council to trial new products to help create new markets? As per my recent column, ALGA will continue to do all we can on the national front to improve results, to better design product stewardship schemes and to keep Local Government at the table as part of the solution. You can do your part locally by checking your contracts, your reporting and enforcement practices, and by ensuring your procurement policies help and don't hinder the use of recyclables. In doing so, you should ask if your own Council would survive the level of scrutiny we witnessed on the television. Let's aim to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. [post_title] => The waste problem is a problem for all [post_excerpt] => The waste fiasco exposed in the Four Corners report will have wide-ranging implications for local governments. 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recycling

recycling