Port Macquarie-Hastings Council's Meet the Hastings - Which Bin? campaign was recognised for leading the way in educating people about the best ways to manage household waste, at the Local Government NSW (LGNSW) Environment Awards.
Now in their 22nd year, the hotly contested awards celebrate local councils across NSW who are leading the way in protecting and improving the state's unique and varied environment.
Winner of the Communication, Education and Empowerment award, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council's campaign was a testament to the importance of finding new and creative ways to address the fact that more than 50 per cent of items found in local red bins don't actually belong there.
LGNSW president Linda Scott said Port Macquarie Hastings Council was to be congratulated for motivating residents to change their behaviours for the benefit of the local environment.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has a strong environmental record, and with fellow councils called on the NSW Government to work with local government to fund and deliver a fresh approach to waste and recycling.
The Save Our Recycling campaign is a four point plan calling on the NSW Government to reinvest the Waste Levy to fund:
- councils to develop regional plans for the future of waste and resource recovery in their regions,
- deliver priority infrastructure and other projects, procured by local government, that are needed to deliver the regional-scale plans, particularly where a market failure has been identified,
- increase local and state government procurement of recycled goods made with domestic content, and
- deliver a state-wide education campaign on the importance of recycling to encourage the right way to recycle, the purchase of products with recycled content, and promoting waste avoidance.
Cr Scott said the NSW Government collected $700 million through the Waste Levy which can be used to fund this approach without any extra cost to taxpayers, business or councils.
"Councils and communities are doing a great job in reducing waste and increasing recycling, but we know that with this funding, more waste could be done to educate people about the best ways to manage waste, recover more waste for re-use and turn it into products."