City of Newcastle is set to move forward with plans to transform its Summerhill Waste Management Centre into a regional recovery hub following the adoption of a sustainable waste strategy.
Councillors approved the 20-year vision for the city’s waste strategy following a public exhibition and consultation period, which engaged with almost 20,000 people.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes says Council’s Our Sustainable Waste Strategy focussed on reducing unnecessary waste going to landfill, increasing recycling rates, strengthening the economy and creating new jobs in Newcastle.
She said the community had shown its overwhelming support for the investment Council was making into a sustainable waste future.
“City of Newcastle is committed to delivering responsible, environmentally sustainable, and commercially feasible waste and recycling operations to manage our current and future waste streams,” Lord Mayor Nelmes said.
“Our Sustainable Waste Strategy will allow us to meet the expectations of the community, who overwhelming told us they supported the implementation of new waste programs and infrastructure and would be willing to change the way they manage waste at home to reduce what ends up in landfill.
“Summerhill Waste Management Centre lies at the heart of City of Newcastle’s vision and will play a key role in the region’s move towards a circular economy and its ability to address State and Federal targets of diverting 80% of recyclable waste and 50% of food waste from landfill.
“This includes City of Newcastle investing in the infrastructure needed at Summerhill to allow residents to significantly increase their recycling rates.”
She said the community has shown its support for the construction of a material recovery facility (MRF) and a food and garden organics (FOGO) processing facility, which are the two major infrastructure projects currently going through the planning process as part of the Strategy.
The MRF is planned to process up to 85,000 tonnes of plastics, paper, cardboard, glass and metals collected from kerbside recycling bins to be recovered at the site each year, while the fully enclosed FOGO processing facility will enable 50,000 tonnes of food and garden organics to be diverted from landfill and turned into compost for reuse annually.
The Lord Mayor said feedback from the community had also been incorporated into the Strategy, including a focus on resource recovery education programs for specific communities, engagement and collaboration with food rescue organisations and the healthcare sector, a site design focus on accessibility and usability and a feasibility assessment of a tip shop.
“As we implement Our Sustainable Waste Strategy, the views of the community will continue to inform our approach to reduce our emissions, protect our environment and change the way we return, reuse, repair and recycle resources,” she said.