A huge waste crisis is looming with landfills for red lid bins set to be full within 14 years. Meanwhile waste generation rates are going up not down and we can see the results with more waste left on the streets.
The City of Sydney reports bulky household collections have risen by 75 percent and waste costs have risen by 16 percent since the pandemic began. Studies on packaging of everyday items shows most of it ends up in landfill because it is difficult to recycle or requires taking it to special collection points. There is a wide range of problem waste items from electronic waste to mattresses to clothing.
The only solution is to transition to a circular economy where waste is designed out of products from resources extraction, manufacturing and packaging so that products are made to last and packaging is minimal, with everything easily recyclable. A circular economy has significant economic and environmental benefits with better use of resources, reduced damaging extraction practices and fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts. But it will only happen if governments set mandatory rules and targets and invest in infrastructure and technology. In Parliament, I called on the government to urgently work towards a circular economy. My speech > HERE.
My inquiry into food security will also provide recommendations to reduce food waste > HERE.
Clean Up Australia has a new app that can help you identify what can be recycled and how > HERE. You can find out about recycling collection days, and how to book a recycling collection for tricky items or a collection for bulky items from your local council. City of Sydney: HERE. Woollahra Council: HERE.