The Hunter / Central Coast Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (WARR) Strategy 2017-21, covers the local government areas of Central Coast Council, Cessnock City Council, Dungog Shire Council, Lake Macquarie City Council, Maitland City Council, Muswellbrook Shire Council, Newcastle City Council, Port Stephens Council, Singleton Council and Upper Hunter Shire Council. Having set the springboard for major changes in the period 2014-17, the ten Councils are now actively working together to implement the strategy through improved efficiencies and the introduction of new systems, infrastructure and community engagement activities to assist in reducing waste generation, improving waste diversion, and achieving the NSW targets.
Central Coast Council Joins the Waste Region
During early 2017, agreement was reached between Hunter Joint Organisation of Councils, NSW EPA and Central Coast Council (formerly Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils), for Central Coast Council to join the Hunter Region Councils and create the new Hunter / Central Coast Waste region, which now represents a population of approximately 965,000 residents.
The councils of the new Waste Region collectively managed over 590,000 tonnes of domestic waste materials in 2015/16, of which approximately 44% or 261,000 tonnes were recovered. This demonstrates a clear commitment to both excellence in environmental management and resource recovery.
With over 110 dedicated actions across eight major themes, the Hunter / Central Coast WARR Strategy addresses all aspects of waste management – from avoiding the creation of waste in the first place right through to final disposal of materials. The eight Strategy themes are:
- Waste Avoidance
- Resource Recovery
- Diversion of waste from landfill
- Problem wastes
- Reduce Littering
- Reduce Illegal Dumping
- Governance and leading by example
- Infrastructure and Planning
Hunter Council’s Regional Waste Team collaborates closely with local councils and numerous stakeholders to deliver the WARR Strategy. These include NSW EPA, industry representatives and associations, consultants, NSW TAFE and regional businesses. The team is also focused on the collection and analysis of waste generation, diversion and landfill data in order to model when and where waste infrastructure changes may be needed in the future to ensure adequate services are available for the region’s growing population.
Since the commencement of the Strategy implementation, the region has increased diversion of waste from landfill from approximately 38% in the baseline year, up to 44% of all domestic waste collected or received at landfill, despite seeing a significant population increase over the same period.
Regional Waste Projects that are facilitated and delivered by the Hunter Councils Regional Waste Team include:
- Waste Education
- Love Food Hate Waste
- Regional Litter Prevention
- Regional Capacity Building
- Market development for recycled products
- Data collection and analysis
This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.