Waste Management Strategy

Like many communities across Australia, Port Stephens Council is facing challenges with the management of solid wastes. Changes in policy nationally and internationally are affecting many of these challenges in addition to greater community expectation for Council to manage waste in a more sustainable way.

Port Stephens Council's Waste Management Strategy 2021-2031 was developed to address these challenges and provide localised strategic guidance for Council. The strategy will also help Council align with the NSW Government’s Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 targets.

Download: Port Stephens Council's Waste Management Strategy 2021-2031 (PDF 19MB)

Learn more about the Waste Strategy journey below.

The journey so far

January 2021

Second Waste Audit performed by EC Sustainable – this audit provided more information on our waste streams usage and changes during peak tourism times.

March 2021

Using the community feedback, regional information, research and Council’s information, Talis drafted the options report to help Council understand viability of certain processes in our region.

May 2021

A Councilor two-way was held with Talis and the Waste team to inform the Councilors of the progress and outcomes of the Strategy. This allowed Councilors with the opportunity to discuss the waste strategy and provide feedback.

COVID-19 caused delays and slowed the completion of the Strategy down.

August 2021

The draft Strategy went to Council and Councilors approved the document to go on Public Exhibition for 28 days.

September 2021

While on Public Exhibition for 28days the community can have their formal say about the proposed strategy.

October 2021

Once the 28 day period ended Council then formally replied back to the 16 public submissions about the Strategy. The majority of the feedback received was positive and in favor of the Draft Strategy.

At the end of October the Draft Strategy went to Council and was approved. This now makes the Waste Strategy a formal and final document that will help shape and guide Waste and Councils future decisions.

June 2020

Council received a NSW Government grant to assist with the development of a waste strategy and used this to engage a specialist consultant to research, analyse and draft an options report.

August 2020

Talis Consultants were awarded the contract to research and write the Waste Strategy.

October 2020

Waste Audit completed by EC Sustainable. This was the first of two audits preformed to help gain a deeper understanding of how the average resident uses their bins and waste services.

A phone survey was used to contact 400 randomly picked residents to answer a series of questions. These answers helped Talis establish what services the community would use or are using and what level of support residents had to a number of proposed ideas for the waste strategy.

November 2020

Community Consultations – After identifying themes of interest from the community survey Council held 3 in person events to talk with interested community members in each ward.
Council then held an online forum on the Waste Strategy which was filmed live on Facebook for community members who were unable to attend the in person consultations. Since its recording the video has been view 3000 times. You can view the video here.
Online survey was live after community consultation and the online forum for the community to provide further feedback to Council and build on the information already gathered by the telephone survey and consultations. 225 completed responses were collected and the data was analyzed externally through IRIS research.

In 2019 the changes to regulations for waste processing led Council to review the way we were managing our waste. With the future fast approaching and with changing policy, both nationally and internationally transforming waste management it was decided it was time to put a strategy in place that would direct Council’s waste management into the future.

In 2018 the Environmental Protection Authority notified Councils who utilised alternative waste technologies to process their residual waste (red bin) that they were suspending the use of mixed waste organics as a soil nutrient. This meant that the compost that was being made from our waste could no longer be used in a sustainable way and now had to be landfilled.

What happens now?

The Waste Strategy has been formally adopted by Councilors and has become an official Council Strategy. Council now starts developing internal project plans to map out the next 12 months and beyond. There is a lot of work to do and we want to keep our Community informed. In the coming months this page will be updated with the latest details.

Contact our Waste Team: