On a national level, the issues of waste covers such aspects as product stewardship , packaging, biodegradability, management of waste as a resource, hazardous waste and impacts on soil water and air quality. Emissions from waste are dual issues: energy generation as well as a CO2 /climate change issue. Hawkesbury is one of the few metropolitan Councils to still have a landfill waste disposal site, located in the catchment of Rickaby’s Creek at South Windsor. The waste collection services across the whole LGA includes recyclables, green waste, and non-recyclable materials which go into landfill. Food makes up to 40% of our general waste stream.
At this time, no co-generation is undertaken and green waste and food wastes create a carbon tax liability. The site is also filling rapidly and may need to take up more land from its current use as pasture and bushland.
There is a need to develop stronger incentives for household waste management such as food and vegetation disposal by composting or worm farms; re-using materials such as glass containers; refusing plastic packaging such as water bottles and single-use supermarket plastic bags and containers. The tip could also function (as it once did), as a trading and recycling depot. We should be concerned about nutrient input via Rickaby’s Creek into the Hawkesbury River and monitor the landfill site accordingly. Some councils and private companies also operate on-site mulching for semi-rural areas: such mulch can then be used for gardens to save it going to landfill.
What is HEN doing?
Our participation with Council and Earthcare in fairs and events around the area has supported the Love Food Hate Waste program: buying or growing local food, cooking and storing food, as well as demonstrating worm farms and composting. Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA) and UWS Hawkesbury linked food waste, sustainability and the local food movement through a series of workshops; as well as piloting a local food co-op.
HEN also has a representative on the Hawkesbury Council Waste Management Advisory Committee which meets twice a year. One of our requests which has been followed up is for published pollution monitoring data: See link here http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/environment/sustainable-hawkesbury/environment-monitoring
How can you help?
- Support a recycling campaign to reduce container litter through a ten cent refund policy (See Boomerang Alliance website below)
- Join Clean Up Australia Day and encourage your friends along…make it a social event with local food!!
- Get a group visit with HEN waste experts to our local tip.
- Check local large stores and supermarkets for collection points for excess plastic bags, batteries, and unwanted mobile phones.
- Report illegal dumping to Council via these numbers: Phone Councils Regulatory Officers 02 4560 4555 if you witnessed the dumping and have the details;Or Phone Council 02 4560 4444 if you only have the dumped rubbish location. There is also an online form.
Hawkesbury City Council Waste Management
Planet Ark Recycling Near You
NSW Govt: Love Food, Hate Waste
Campaigning for Recycling The Boomerang Alliance, made up of 30 of Australia`s leading community and environment groups, is campaigning for a 10 cent refund on bottles and cans to reduce the litter and double recycling rates across Australia; tyre recycling and an end to illegal tyre dumps; and more e-waste/battery recycling.