Wednesday, 27 March 2024

This week Council endorsed the Waste and Circular Economy Strategy 2040 - Rethink. Reduce. Reuse sending a strong message that the Northern Beaches will be shifting to a circular approach to waste management aimed at retaining the value of resources for as long as possible in order to benefit the environment, local business, and residents.

This strategy represents a new approach to waste management, emphasising the importance for us all to rethink our actions to reduce waste via reuse, repair and recycling which are the key pillars of our environmental agenda.

Currently waste collection is the largest service Council provides to the Northern Beaches community, including up to 11 million bin collections each year.

With this new strategy, we’re aiming to reduce landfill waste, increase recycling rates, and support our community to turn our waste into a valuable resource.

The new strategy focuses on 5 directions, each with supporting actions and include eliminating waste, easy to use waste service, tackling priority waste, green and clean environment and Council leading the way.

Some of the key directions and targets include:

  • pilot a circular economy hub for repairing and reusing household items, including working with charities, community groups and other interested groups
  • help the community to reduce household waste by 10% by 2030 and by 20% by 2040
    halve the amount of household food waste sent to landfill by 2030, with a phased approach to food waste collection
  • implement regular and accessible collections of electronic waste, textiles and household chemicals by 2025
  • provide local drop-offs or kerbside collections for the most common household plastics where there are reliable markets for the recycled products
  • advocate for the phase out of single use unrecyclable plastics

The strategy was informed by extensive research and consultation over a 12-month period with the local community, external stakeholders, expert consultants, the Environment Strategic Reference Group and Council staff.

With 179 submissions received from the community when it was exhibited to the public in October 2023, there was overwhelming support for the strategy.

The strategy includes an action plan with key initiatives to commence, or be implemented, in the next five years.  

Council will work closely with the community as we rethink, reduce and reuse more under the strategy.