Council's steps towards a zero waste future

Calling for community feedback on draft Towards Zero Waste Policy

Wednesday 24 June, 2020

Council is looking ahead to the future. A future with an aspirational goal of zero waste for the Tweed. 

A draft Towards Zero Waste policy will guide the organisation on future strategies, actions and targets towards zero waste practices. The draft policy is currently on public exhibition and Council is seeking submissions and feedback from residents of the Tweed.
 
The towards zero waste concept means designing and managing products to reduce the volume of waste and materials generated, to conserve and recover products and materials where possible, and to only send waste to landfill as a last resort. 

Mayor of Tweed, Katie Milne said waste is one of the world's most pressing environmental, social and economic challenges. 

"Expectations of communities across the world are changing and it is no longer acceptable just to send all waste to landfill. Things have even moved beyond just basic recycling to our new focus on preventing waste in the first place and trying to keep goods in circulation and use for as long as possible," Cr Milne said.
 
"This not only significantly reduces our environmental and carbon footprint, it also creates whole new industries and employment within the circular economy.

"Towards zero waste is Council's commitment to make the most out of each opportunity to avoid waste, reuse, repair, recycle and recover as many resources as practical," she said.

This aspirational target will require Council and the community to work collaboratively to re-think how each of us purchase, use and dispose of materials.

"Community feedback is key to the idea of moving towards zero waste practices. We know this is a big shift and we have a long way to go, but we believe the community is ready and wants change in this area," Cr Milne said. 

"Waste is extremely expensive to manage, process, and dispose of. Landfill is costly to develop and maintain, and waste placed in landfill remains in the environment forever. If we don't address this issue now, it's only going to get harder to manage and more expensive, with the costs being felt by everyone in the community," she said. 

On 22 March 2018 Tweed Shire Council resolved to adopt a zero waste target across the Tweed and to include this objective in future waste strategies and management plans.

Council already has a number of initiatives in place including the kerbside green waste (green bins) and recycling (yellow bins) collections. The public has been instrumental in the ongoing success of these programs. 

"We are only in the beginning stages of the journey - investigating, researching, planning and developing what the implementation of towards zero waste means for Council and the community," Cr Milne said.

"We'd initially just like as much input into the draft policy as possible and once that is finalised with community feedback considered, we will focus on developing a Towards Zero Waste Strategy with specific actions that Council itself will be responsible for to reduce and better manage its own waste. 

"The policy objectives and principles will be used to guide Council's operations in the development of strategies to ensure we generate less waste and recover everything that can practically be recovered," she said. 

The draft Towards Zero Waste Policy is on public exhibition until Tuesday 21 July 2020. To find out more, read the draft policy and frequently asked questions and to have your say, visit www.yoursaytweed.com.au/zerowaste