THE state is in a "real mess" when it comes to sustainable waste management and councillors in Tamworth have called for a shake-up.
Councillors were scratching their heads at Tuesday's ordinary meeting when some of the NSW government's waste levy figures were laid bare.
In a mayoral minute, Col Murray called on the state government to redirect the hundreds of millions of dollars it levied to be directly poured back into recycling initiatives in NSW.
"At a local government level, just 18 per cent of the $300 million collected from the local government sector each year is reinvested in recycling and waste management," he said.
"Overall the NSW government's 'Waste Less Recycle More' initiative allocates $801 million over eight years (2013-2021) to waste and recycling, however the waste levy collected over that same period will be over $4.62 billion."
Tamworth's councillors were fired up over this claim and unanimously joined the call for action.
It comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged $20 million to boost domestic recycling.
Juanita Wilson said if the state government couldn't come up with ways to reinvest the money into waste reduction initiatives, it should be left to councils, who are leading the way, to develop their own systems.
Helen Tickle echoed the Prime Minister's comments and said council needed to "treat waste as a commodity, not as rubbish and get clever" in the way it was used.
Charles Impey said waste recycling was going to be one of the "most important industries on the planet"
He said Taminda could become a big player on that stage.
"There's a wonderful opportunity for the precinct near the airport to become a technological waste precinct," he said.
"There could be opportunities for waste to be developed into new products."
Russell Webb echoed this sentiment and said waste minimisation should be the way forward and should influence council projects.
The council will now call on MP Kevin Anderson to support the call for the NSW Government to commit to reinvest 100 per cent of its levy in waste minimisation, recycling and resource recovery.