Domestic waste management in Campbelltown City Council and Fairfield City Council

The Auditor-General for New South Wales, Margaret Crawford, today released a report on domestic waste management in Campbelltown and Fairfield councils.

The report found that both councils collect and transport domestic kerbside waste effectively and process it at a low cost. The councils also effectively process waste placed in green-lid and yellow-lid bins, but neither Council has been able to enforce their contracts for processing red-lid bin waste. As a result, almost all such waste goes straight to landfill. 

‘Campbelltown and Fairfield councils’ recycling rates are behind the State target, principally because most of their red-lid bin waste is not processed’, said Ms Crawford. ‘The red-lid bin waste generated in Sydney exceeds the capacity of its three red lid bin treatment plants’. 

The NSW Government currently does not have a strategy to ensure there is sufficient waste processing and disposal capacity to meet Sydney’s needs, although one is under development. 

Campbelltown and Fairfield councils can improve their domestic waste management by:

  • doing more to encourage residents to put their waste into the right bins
     
  • ensuring all new buildings have adequate and appropriate waste storage facilities, to make it easy for residents to sort their waste properly
     
  • obtaining more information on the costs of other viable options for domestic waste management, so they can better assess whether they need to change existing arrangements.

This audit also found that both councils are grappling with some significant challenges, including a complex regulatory environment, limited competition in the waste industry and a diminishing market for recyclables.

Further information

Barry Underwood, Director, Office of the Auditor-General, on 9275 7101, 0403 073 664 and email barry.underwood@audit.nsw.gov.au.