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City of Newcastle presents vision for sustainable waste future 

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Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen has labelled it “an important milestone for City of Newcastle in our journey to reduce our emissions”.

And, moves to transform Summerhill Waste Management Centre into an innovative regional recovery hub under a 20-year vision is expected to progress even further this week.

Council hopes the concept, outlined in the draft Our Sustainable Waste Strategy, will not only reduce waste, but increase recycling rates, strengthen the economy and create new jobs in Newcastle, too.

“The policy proposes a mix of infrastructure and service provision supported by educational campaigns,” Cr Clausen said.

“It also includes construction of the planned material recovery and organics processing facility at Summerhill.  

“We’re committed to increasing our capabilities for the recycling and reuse of products in order to meet the state and federal targets of diverting 80% of recycling and 50% of food waste from landfill.

“This comprises investing in the infrastructure needed at Summerhill to allow residents to easily increase their recycling rates, with a recent kerbside waste audit showing that more than half of the waste in our red-lidded bins has the potential to be recovered in an organics processing facility, which can then be processed into compost for reuse in agriculture, landscaping and home gardens.  

“By capturing more of the value from more of our waste, we’re localising a new resource steam, which may have significant benefits to local businesses and industry, kick-starting a circular economy.”

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said developing a sustainable solution for waste was crucial for the future of “our planet, our people and our prosperity”.

“During the next two decades, Newcastle’s population is expected to grow by more than 15%, which in turn will lead to an increase of almost 18% in waste generation,” she explained.

“Our Sustainable Waste Strategy focusses on reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and changing the way we return, reuse, repair and recycle resources.  

“The scheme will deliver significant benefits to the planet by preserving our finite resources and reducing emissions, while also protecting and creating new jobs in Newcastle and unlocking economic opportunities for local businesses and industry through the circular economy.”

Pending approval from councillors at Tuesday night’s meeting, the draft Our Sustainable Waste Strategy will be placed on public exhibition for six weeks before returning to council later this year for adoption.

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