Kevin Trustum, waste education officer with the Lismore waste facility.
Kevin Trustum, waste education officer with the Lismore waste facility.

Region's rubbish recycling record

THE Northern Rivers is failing miserably in the recycling race.

Environmentally friendly Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore all failed to make the grade in a list of the best areas for household recycling in the State.

The NSW Office and Environment Heritage 2009-2010 report revealed regional households are the best recyclers of “dry recyclables” – such as bottles, paper, plastics, cardboard, food and garden organics.

However, Byron Shire was ranked only 12th in a long list of top recyclers, with Lismore 15th.

Ballina did not even make the list and dipped well below the state average of 45.1 % for total domestic resource recovery.

Still, Kevin Trustum, waste development education officer at from Lismore City Council, wasn’t too concerned about the statistics.

“We have a pretty receptive community and there are always improvements that can be made,” Mr Trustum said.

“Lismore has a good reputation and we usually rate pretty high in data reports.”

The report comes at the same time as Byron council has opened its Myocum Recycle Shop.

.Staff have been sorting through items dropped at the landfill over the past few months and there are some great bargains to be had.

The shop is open Wednesday to Friday 9am to 3pm, Saturday 9am to noon.

Mid North Coast dominated the top 10 on the recycling list, with Coffs Harbour (79.9%), Port Macquarie-Hastings (70.7%), and Bellingen (70.3%) coming out at the head of the pack.

Nambucca was listed 10th at 62.7%.

“Mid North Coast invested a significant amount of infrastructure and we’re going down a similar path,” Mr Trustum said.

“We’re land filling less and well on the way to launching some new programs.”

Ballina had a total domestic resource recovery rate of 41.3 %, compared to Lismore (61%) and Byron Bay (60.4%).

Office of Environment and Heritage chief executive Lisa Corbyn said the overall figures show the State is beginning to take recycling more seriously.

“Across the State, we’re recycling more and sending less to land fill,” she said.

“But we still have a long way to go.

“Its estimated that three quarters of household waste going to landfill is recyclable and could be recovered for reuse.”

Overall recycling performance from kerbside collections has almost doubles from 644,021 tonnes in 2000-01 to 1.12 million tonnes 2009-10

An average of 5.53 kg per week of dry recyclables per household were collected at the kerbside in 2009-10

An average of 12.12 kg per week of residual waste per household was collected at the kerbside in 2009-10.


1: Coffs Harbour

2: Port Macquarie-Hastings

3: Bellingen

4: Liverpool

5: Young

6: Camden

7: Gilgandra

8: Wingecarribee

9: Berrigan

10: Nambucca

11: Albury

12: Lismore

13: North Sydney

14: Port Stephens

15: Byron Shire

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