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April 15, 2024

Ballina council to kick-start waste reduction policies and projects

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Staff sorting through recycling at the Materials Recovery Facility in Chinderah. Photo supplied.

The Ballina Shire Council has voted unanimously to adopt a newly drafted policy aimed at waste reduction.

Staff called for introduction of a Community Resource Recovery Initiatives Policy in the council’s agenda for last week’s ordinary November meeting.

The new proposal is to go on public display for feedback and if approved, will start with a budget of $50,000 from funds already in a Landfill Reserve Management division.

Staff said a ‘budget adjustment’ would be made at the council’s next financial quarterly review.

Staff address lacking waste management policy

The new policy is aimed at helping kick-start projects aimed at ‘value for money solutions’ for promoting ‘waste minimisation and resource recovery education and messaging in the community’, council staff said in their description.

The council was missing such a policy, they said, and had been knocking back pitches from parties interested in initiating new waste-reduction projects but requiring local government support, including start-up contribution funds.

The pitches otherwise aligned with council aims outlined in its resource and recovery department, staff said.

The council’s two Greens’ councillors, Kiri Dicker and Simon Chate, moved and seconded the motion to adopt the staff’s recommended policy with the only other three councillors present voting in support: Crs Stephen McCarthy, Eva Ramsey and Eoin Johnston.

Mayor Sharon Cadwallader and Cr Jeff Johnson were absent from the meeting and Crs Rodney Bruem and Nigel Buchanen were also absent from the meeting at the time of voting.

Council to consider more eco-friendly buying powers

The same make-up off councillors also voted to support a separate motion from Greens Cr Dicker for the council to investigate ‘potential updates’ to its procurement policies.

Cr Dicker wanted the council’s waste management policy to ‘support a decrease in the purchase of non-recyclable materials’.

Other parts to the motion included letters to relevant ministers and authorities and to seek guidance for the change from Local Government New South Wales.

The Greens councillor says the decrease can be achieved by encouraging ‘assessment of product need, utilising products/materials containing content recycled domestically, optimising reuse and increasing the uptake of products and materials that contain recycled content where they are comparable in cost, quality and performance, and do not have known worse environmental outcomes’.

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