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Built for the Future

Waste and litter

Why is this important?

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When it comes to waste, we have become a disposable society, buying and disposing of products and materials daily. This linear process of consume and dispose is not sustainable, and is having increasingly negative impacts.

Council provides a waste collection service to 75,000 homes and 1,800 businesses. In 2018/19 Council collected 78,911 tonnes of waste through the domestic waste service, with approximately 59% of this diverted from landfill. The remaining 41% ended up in landfill with no further opportunity for re-use, recycling or recovery for energy.

In Australia we have historically relied on landfill for getting rid of a lot of our waste. However, there is a limit to the amount of landfill space we have across the Sydney metropolitan area. Our forecast population growth points only one way: greater waste volumes in the future.

Council also collected 735 tonnes of illegally dumped material. The majority of which could have been disposed of legally and collected through the free bulky waste service provided as part of Councils waste service.

Litter has also been identified as a major environmental concern for our community, so we know our community cares. And in 2016, the NSW Government set an ambitious target to reduce litter by 40% by 2020. Council adopted this target in our Environmental Sustainability Strategy, and later extended this to a target to reduce the incidence of litter by 50% by 2023 in our Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy.

The rapid urban development occurring across the City will also facilitate the need to focus on reusing and recycling construction and demolition (C&D) waste.

  • Reduce resource consumption from 8.2kg to 6.1kg per person by 2038 (based on 2015 levels)
  • Increase diversion from landfill to 85% by 2038
  • Reduce the volume of litter by 50% by 2020

What we're already doing

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  • Collection contract where all waste streams go to treatment facilities increasing recover
  • Delivery of the Mobile Community Recycling Service, and special drop off events for e-waste and chemicals
  • Providing collection stations for batteries, CDs and mobile phones at Council branch libraries
  • Delivering education programs on waste avoidance and recycling
  • Working with local business to reduce waste and improve recycling
  • Supporting schools, community, and businesses to run community clean-up events
  • Trialling new products and innovations to increase the use of recycled content
  • Implementing programs to reduce litter and illegal dumping

Our actions (1-4 years)

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  • Revise Waste Avoidance & Resource Recovery (WARR) Strategy to 2021, to address issues including public domain litter, illegal dumping and future technology
  • Work with business and industry to reduce plastics and packaging including plastic bag bans
  • Advocate for policy changes at State and Federal Government levels to reduce waste and improve resource recovery
  • Continue community education programs targeting various waste streams from the perspective of avoidance, reuse, repair and recovery
  • Expand the Bower’s Re-homing and Collection Service “to increase the amount of items rehomed before they’re recycled through Curbside Cleanup
  • Increase waste diversion from landfill through various treatment processes, and investigate waste-to-energy, both bio-digestions and gasification
  • Investigate alternative systems to divert food organics and nappy waste from red bins
  • Continue working with the NSW Government and local business to target commercial and industrial (C&I) waste
  • Continue public place litter education and recycling programs and the strategic use of street sweeping, gross pollutant traps and enforcement that targets hotspots.

For more information

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Contact the Customer Service Centre on 9806 5050 or


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