Waste Not Film Launch

(Parliament House Theatrette)

Thank you, Ruth Hessey and hello, everyone. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.

I'm encouraged to hear that this film has been seen by a number of councils, by corporations like NAB and KPMG, and by the Education Department among others.

The word needs to get out that we are at an environmental crossroads, but also that we can look forward to a greener future if we all act to that end, and if we act now.

That's why the City funded this film through our Environmental Grants program. We, as much as the Total Environment Centre, want to get that message out.

Our strategy for Sustainable Sydney 2030 reflects those concerns and for the last few years, we've had a very strong emphasis on recycling, conserving resources and supporting community sustainability in a whole range of ways.

We've set ambitious goals that include 66 per cent resource recovery of residential waste and waste generated by council by 2015, and 63 per cent of commercial and industrial waste.

Our mantra is Avoid, Reuse, Recycle but while we're working to educate the community, there is a strong emphasis on recycling.

Since November 2008, when we ran our first E-waste recycling day, we've collected over 100 tonnes of e-waste through 10 collection days. Our next is on June 5, World Environment Day. And it's good that a national scheme for recycling televisions and computers will finally be introduced this year.

We're also working to improve recycling levels in City apartment buildings. Our staff are working closely with building managers to improve infrastructure and signage to make it easier to sort recyclables from garbage. They are also preparing recycling guides for residents.

I'm excited to announce that last Monday Council endorsed a plan of action that will see ALL domestic waste collected in the City either reclaimed, recycled or composted, meaning that none of the City's domestic waste will be sent to landfill.

This builds on our work to develop an Integrated Waste Strategy that will go beyond the 2014 State targets of 66 per cent of waste diverted from landfill, and our work examining the establishment of an alternative waste treatment plant for the longer-term.

Education is the key, and we run regular Live Green Workshops, promote recycling and run a Zero Waste program for small and medium businesses.

This film will play an important part in inspiring and empowering people to look at the waste we all generate, question our current ways of living, and look to how we can make our homes, our neighbourhoods and our city more sustainable.

I'd like to congratulate everyone involved with it - including our own City staff! - and I urge you to tell people about it so that it can be seen as widely as possible.

Thank you.