Waste and Recycling

Waste and recycling management is a major responsibility for councils, and is significant socially, environmentally and economically.

In NSW, councils manage an estimated 3.5 million tonnes of waste generated by residents each year.  

Councils across the state work tirelessly to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfill. According to Environment Protection Authority’s Local Government Waste and Resource Recovery Data, some councils are achieving up to 77% diversion of waste from landfill. 
To achieve these outcomes, efforts are being made by councils throughout the waste and recycling process to:
  • Collect an ever increasing variety of materials for recycling
  • Provide improved waste and recycling education and communication to the community
  • Process waste in new ways to increase recycling, decrease reliance on landfills and avoid other environmental impacts.

Our case studies web page provides examples of some of the innovative waste and recycling solutions councils have delivered for their communities.

LGNSW's role

LGNSW helps councils achieve improved waste and recycling outcomes by:
  • Helping councils to keep informed about waste and recycling issues and opportunities
  • Advocating for councils on key waste and recycling issues
  • Representing local government on a number of NSW and national waste and recycling policy committees and working groups
  • Working with the NSW Environment Protection Authority to achieve improved outcomes from Waste Less, Recycle More, the State’s major waste and recycling funding initiative
  • Promoting and celebrating local government waste and recycling achievements.

Stay informed

Local government staff can subscribe to LGNSW's bi-monthly electronic newsletter, The Pick Up.

Extended Producer Responsibility 

LGNSW has long advocated for the requirement of producers to take greater responsibility for their products, so that there will be less waste to deal with, and so that the environmental impacts of waste will be reduced. This is often called 'Extended Producer Responsibility' (EPR) or 'Life Cycle Responsibility'.
This goes far beyond just encouraging recycling, or measuring our progress in terms of the increase in recycling rates. As local government does not have the statutory power to require producers to take responsibility for their products, a major role of LGNSW is to advocate on behalf of councils for the following issues to be addressed:
  • Responsible packaging design and EPR for packaging waste
  • Management of problem wastes including but not limited to paints, batteries, chemicals, mattresses, electronic waste (e-waste) and asbestos
  • Development of an effective Container Deposit Scheme (CDS)
  • Reducing the impact of plastic shopping bags, microbeads and other pollutants.