NSW councils have welcomed new funding to help divert disposable coffee cups from landfill.

The NSW Government has given $115,000 to coffee cup recycler Closed Loop Environmental Solutions Pty Ltd, in a bid to help divert about 11 million cups from landfill within a year.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott said the announcement was great news, but pushed the Government to go further by taking on its Save Our Recycling campaign.

“LGNSW’s Save Our Recycling campaign calls on the NSW Government to re-invest the hundreds of millions it collects via a Waste Levy imposed on business, councils and individuals into waste management and recycling,” she said.

“In 2017-18, the total take from the Waste Levy was $727 million, $300 million of which came from councils.

“Only about 18 per cent of that $300 million is reinvested in recycling and waste management, with the rest disappearing into the government’s coffers.”

Cr Scott said it is critical that NSW develop its on-shore processing capacity for recycled materials, rather than shipping waste to countries such as China.

“Offshore processing of waste was never a good long-term option for NSW and our communities expect more,” he said.

“We have a real opportunity to create a circular economy by reusing more of our own waste, with the added potential of job creation in a modern, smart, homegrown environmental and recycling industry.

“Councils in NSW are already seeking support to develop markets for recycled glass, paper and plastics; working proactively to improve the quality of what’s in the recycling bin, and reducing recycling contamination levels.

“There is an immediate need for market development measures such as requiring recycled content in certain products: glass sand for pipe bedding, road base and asphalt, for example.

“We need more new and innovative recycling facilities and packaging and products that are easier to recycle and reuse.”

Cr Scott said there was no need for these moves towards a circular economy to impose new costs on residents, ratepayers or business.

“Local government is not asking for more money, just for the money already raised as the Waste Levy to be used where communities expect: on better recycling and waste management,” she said.