Waste to Value: The Circular Economy

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_Waste to Value: The Circular Economy
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Northern Beaches Council has embarked on a mission to revolutionise waste management at the Beaches and set the standard for circular economy practices, all while providing a waste and litter service that leaves Sydney's public spaces impeccably clean.

The council has taken a significant stride toward implementing a sustainable waste management model focused on 'reuse, repair, and recycle' with the introduction of their inaugural waste and circular economy strategy.

The draft Waste and Circular Economy Strategy 2040 – Rethink. Reduce. Reuse, along with its corresponding action plan, serves as a blueprint for the future of waste management. Its primary objective is to revolutionise waste and litter management services, paving the way for a cleaner and more sustainable future.

This strategic initiative plays a pivotal role in facilitating the council's transition into a fully functioning circular economy, one that promises to yield environmental benefits, support local businesses and enhance the lives of the area's residents. It embodies the council's commitment to delivering a fresh, long-term blueprint and action plan for waste and circular economy management.

Sydney's waste service, one of the largest in the region, generates an astounding 1,00,000 tonnes of household waste annually, a figure nearly equivalent to the weight of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Northern Beaches community is enthusiastic about creating a cleaner, greener environment and is willing to make necessary changes to achieve this goal. Impressively, 85 per cent of the community members are prepared to alter their habits to reduce waste production, and 90 per cent already engage in reusing or repairing household items.

The council is now presented with a unique opportunity to support residents, foster job creation, and promote innovative and sustainable businesses that embrace circular practices such as reuse, repair, and recycling. This approach will not only drive economic growth but also strengthen community bonds.

Acknowledging the challenges on the horizon, including the shift from a culture of wasteful consumption, limited access to extensive waste infrastructure, and market constraints on recyclable materials, the council is committed to collaboration. They will work closely with other metropolitan councils and advocate for state and federal governments to unite in their efforts to expedite this transformative journey.

The council firmly believes that by sharing responsibilities, empowering the community, and simplifying the process of behavioural change, they will achieve their goals.

Key highlights from the strategy include the establishment of local hubs for reuse, repair, and recycling, exploration of opportunities for local businesses and manufacturers to collaborate on the reuse and recycling of materials, expansion of recyclable waste categories, improved methods for collecting 'problem' waste like chemicals, e-waste, and textiles, initiatives to address organic waste and implement food waste collection, continued efforts to combat single-use plastics, and new litter prevention measures. The council is also committed to leading by example in their own planning and operations.

All these actions and more are outlined within the framework of the strategy, organised into five fundamental directions:

  • Eliminating waste

  • Ensuring an easy-to-use waste service

  • Addressing priority waste concerns

  • Fostering a green and clean environment

  • Leading the way for better waste management

The full strategy document can be accessed for further details.

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Source: Northern Beaches Council

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