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Consumption and Waste

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This theme reports on Council’s strategic planning for, and implementation of initiatives to manage waste generation, consumption behaviour and resource reuse by Council and the community.

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

Collected domestic waste tonnage (putrescible household garbage) has remained stable even with small population increases. However disposal of household consumer items (“General Household Clean up”) has seen an increase of approximately 24% on the previous year.

Council has been working to raise community awareness about the need for waste reduction, including food waste, and resource reuse, via community engagement and education initiatives, specifically SecondHand Saturday to address the increasing generation of household consumer waste. Council has committed to corporate waste reduction and resource recovery via its Sustainable Purchasing Policy and ongoing work in Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programmes.  

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IMPLEMENTATION

Leichhardt Council’s Sustainable Purchasing Policy

Leichhardt Council has had a Sustainable Purchasing Policy since 2005. The draft Sustainability Criteria Guide, developed in 2011-12, was distributed to staff for feedback in 2012-13. Sustainability clauses have now been incorporated into Tender guideline documents.

Leichhardt Council’s Sustainable Meeting Policy

The Sustainable Meeting Policy aims to minimise environmental impacts from administrative and Council meetings. In 2012-13, a staff survey monitored use of the Sustainable Meeting Policy and a monitoring sheet was developed to record the status of meeting rooms against the Sustainable Meeting Policy requirements.

Leichhardt Council’s Extended Producer Responsibility/Product Stewardship Policy

In 2012-13, Leichhardt Council commenced a drop-off service for televisions and computers at its weekend transfer station in Moore Street, Leichhardt. This service is an example of the Federal government’s National TV/Computer Product Stewardship Scheme (the Scheme) which requires manufacturer’s to take back end-of-life electronic products.

Kerbside Collection System Review

Council submitted and received funding under the NSW Waste and Sustainability Improvement Payment Program (WaSIP) to engage consultants to develop the Kerbside Collection System Review which provides recommendations to inform a community engagement strategy to maximise the potential and rate of resource recovery and to improve mixed organic waste minimisation and management.

Extended Producer Responsibility Initiatives

Council supported Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes such as the ‘Cash for Containers’ campaign and the National TV/Computer Product Stewardship Scheme. Council also continues to advocate for a container deposit scheme (CDS) via its participation in the LGSA CDS council survey, and letters to the NSW Premier and State and Federal Ministers.

SecondHand Saturday

secondhand-sat-soeLeichhardt Council runs SecondHand Saturday (SHS) each year, a giant neighbourhood garage sale held in individual households. SecondHand Saturday enables residents to participate in a program that promotes the value of resource conservation and reduced waste to landfill, whilst making a dollar or two and meeting their neighbours. In 2012-13, a record number of 276 individual households participated in three neighbourhood events held across the LGA, indicating continued community support for SecondHand Saturday.

Treading Lightly & Footprints Ecofestival

Footprints-Ecofestival-logo-widget-140x85As part of the ongoing joint partnership with Ashfield, Burwood, Canada Bay and Strathfield, Leichhardt Council offered another year of Treading Lightly workshops, seminars and forums covering all aspects of sustainability, including waste reduction initiatives. In 2012-13, a National Recycling Week workshop was held using packaging waste to demonstrate resource recovery potential. Leichhardt Council developed a Special Events Waste Management Plan for the August 2012 Eco-festival to address festival packaging waste and recycling of cans, bottles and food waste.

The Bower Reuse & Repair Centre

The BowerThe Bower is a community-based Cooperative dedicated to diverting waste from landfill through community engagement, education, and practical solutions: recycling, reuse, repair, and resale. The Bower offers a reuse referral service which provides tailored assistance to residents and businesses of metropolitan Sydney. Council continued to support this service in 2012-13.

Food & Garden (Organic) Waste Diversion

In 2012-13, and consistent with recommendations of Leichhardt’s Kerbside Collection System Review, Council continued to offer a food recycling service and educational newsletter to approximately 5600 multi-unit dwellings across the LGA. Council continued discussions with the Inner Sydney Waste Managers Group and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage for a joint regional contract covering garden and food organics.

E-Waste

ewaste-soeWith the increase of ‘e-waste’, Council encourages residents to think reuse prior to recycling, by selling or giveaway of unwanted e-waste items via Council’s popular Second Hand Saturday (SHS) garage sale program; by trying a digital set-top box or digital television recorder rather than replacing their current TV; or by swapping and selling unwanted items on the various on-line sites promoted on Council’s website.

Fridge Buyback

Council continued to support the NSW Government’s Fridge Buyback program, which provides rebates to residents for the upgrade of older, inefficient fridges.

Love Your Lane & Illegal Dumping

“Love Your Lane” encourages residents to embrace their laneways to deter illegal dumping. It involves cleaning up of graffiti hotspots, distribution of an educational brochure and information packs to residents, real estate agents, strata managers and businesses, and temporary signage featuring the “Love your Lane” logo. The programme operates in conjunction with Leichhardt’s infrastructure upgrade works. In 2012-13, the Albion Lane project recorded a decrease in illegal dumping of 55%.

Sustainable Schools

This annual event was held by 14 schools in the LGA between April and June 2013. The programme included workshops on composting, worm farming, recycle and re-use and learning to avoid waste.

Business SMART Program

Approximately $10 000 in savings in waste disposal costs were identified with participating businesses, and 120 cubic meters of waste diverted from landfill.