SA to invest $7.7m in diverting waste

South Australia Environment and Conservation Minister Paul Caica has announced $7.7 million in funding for two projects to help divert more waste from landfill.

Mr Caica said councils are being urged to apply for a share in $6.1 million to help roll out food waste recycling initiatives as part of South Australia’s Food Waste Incentives Program.

A further $1.6 million is also available in the next round of Zero Waste SA’s Regional Implementation Program to improve waste management in country areas.

“These programs honour the State Government’s pre-election commitments to roll-out food waste collections and provide funding for key waste infrastructure across South Australia,” Mr Caica said.

“Food waste recycling incentives will make it easier to recycle food waste materials and can be implemented without any change to the weekly collection of residual rubbish bins by metropolitan councils.

“On average each household throws out about 3kg of food waste a week, resulting in more than 90,000 tonnes of food waste per year going to landfill.

“We know that if 70 per cent of metropolitan Adelaide councils took up food waste recycling schemes and approximately 70 per cent of the households in those council areas participated, there is potential to remove an estimated 30,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill. This is equivalent to 3000 truckloads of waste.’’

This funding follows a successful 12 month trial involving 10 South Australian councils that encouraged residents to dispose of their food scraps in a
“bio basket” that was then put in green organics bins for eventual composting.

Mr Caica said the funding for the Regional Implementation Program will also help meet the waste diversion targets by encouraging enhanced recovery of materials in regional areas.

“It is recognised that the delivery of waste and recycling services can be significantly more difficult for communities in country areas,’’ he said.

“I encourage councils and the waste and recycling industry to consider innovative solutions for dealing with waste in country areas and to apply for funding under this program.”

The President of the Local Government Association, Mayor Felicity-Ann Lewis has welcomed the funding.

“Funding support is important because Councils already spend more than $110 million a year of ratepayers funds on waste and recycling, which is 10 percent of Local Government’s annual spend,” she said.

Applications for the Food Waste Incentives Program close 12 November and 3 September for the Regional Implementation Program.

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