Thursday, 19 July 2018
NORTHERN Tablelands groups interested in running projects to reuse and recycle food and garden waste are being encouraged to apply for special NSW Government grants to do just that.
Local State MP Adam Marshall says the NSW Organics Infrastructure Grants Program is a great opportunity for local councils, waste companies and not-for-profit groups to win grants of up to $3 million.
“This is a wonderful way for local groups who have plans for projects that can tackle the organic and green waste that ends up in landfill, to get some government investment to do just that,” Mr Marshall said.
“These grants give councils and community groups the chance to fund projects that could make a real difference when it comes to organic waste.”
Mr Marshall said significant grant projects had been tackled by councils at Inverell, Armidale, Moree, Uralla, Glen Innes and Uralla over the past couple of years under the program.
“Most of these were in setting up or upgrading community recycling centres but Inverell council also won grants for a Food Waste Warriors campaign and also for a Creating a Composting Community project,” he said.
“There were some great ideas behind those projects but they also saw big injections of capital investment that not only saw major infrastructure works but also job opportunities evolve from them.
Mr Marshall said the Northern Tablelands was among leaders in the field of recycling and waste efficiency.
“Figures from the Northern Inland Regional Waste group, which includes six of the councils in my electorate, show some pretty impressive stats when it comes to recycling recovery rates,” Mr Marshall said.
“Across that NIRW region, which covers 13 local government areas from New England to the North West, there’s over 200,000 tonnes of waste generated a year – and about half of that is made up of household recyclables and food and organics.
“Armidale had the highest recycling rate of 64 per cent while Glen Innes and Uralla are over 50 per cent and Inverell is just under that figure, so it’s plain to see that our communities value the reuse and recycling philosophy and are doing their bit for the environment.”
Mr Marshall said the Organics Infrastructure grants were funded by the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, administered by the NSW Environment Protection Authority together with the Environmental Trust.
Applications were being invited for proposals under three different grant streams, in organics processing infrastructure, in food donation infrastructure, and in product quality for equipment to improve recycled organics quality.
Mr Marshall said five previous rounds of the program had allocated $45 million to 86 different projects. This translated to more than 500,000 tonnes of additional organics processing capacity, but also in 6,000 more tonnes of food being rescued in NSW, providing an estimate additional 12 million meals.
“This grant program is another great opportunity for the region to secure a large amount of funding to help transform how we manage organic waste, reduce waste going to landfill, and ultimately give something back to the community,” he said.
Applications are now open and close on 30 August 2018. For more information, visit the EPA website www.epa.nsw.gov.au/wastegrants/organic-large-small.htm