Council’s Waste Management Practices

The production of waste is a growing problem. Despite widespread kerbside collection of recyclables, a growing population and increasing consumption lead to ever increasing waste production, and Sydney is running out of landfill space. Much of what we consider ‘waste’ is a resource that, once discarded to landfill, is lost for future use.

Willoughby City Council is working towards a waste-free future by supporting innovative waste solutions. We have signed a joint disposal contract with several other Northern Sydney councils to send our waste to Veolia Environmental Services' Woodlawn Bioreactor. This facility uses proven technologies to recover energy from waste to produce green electricity. Read more below about where our waste goes.

We are also working towards waste reduction by extending programs that divert waste from landfill and by raising awareness within the community through promotion of the waste hierarchy (avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle).

Where does this waste go?

General Waste (Red Lid)

Willoughby's general waste is transported by rail to Veolia Environmental Services' Woodlawn Eco-Project facility, located 250km south of Sydney near Goulburn. Once there, organic content is extracted from mixed waste and undergoes Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) to produce compost for on-site mine rehabilitation. The remaining waste is deposited into the Bioreactor, which breaks down waste rapidly. Gas and leachate produced in the Bioreactor is extracted, with the methane used to produce green energy. At full capacity, Woodlawn Bioreactor (and the on-site wind farm) is expected to generate almost 300,000MWh per year, providing equivalent power for 37,500 homes per year.

Recycling (Yellow Lid)

Recycling saves landfill space, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, saves energy and saves water. The materials in your recycling bin are sorted and sent to reprocessing facilities, to be made into new products. Watch the Planet Ark video below to find out more.

Recycling has real benefits – on average, Willoughby residents' recycling annually saves:

  • 140 million litres of water - enough to fill 56 Olympic sized swimming pools
  • Enough energy to power 655 homes
  • 4,264 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions - equivalent to removing 1,024 cars off our roads
  • 23,400 cubic metres of landfill

Figures based on Willoughby City Council's annual recycling tonnages using Visy's Environmental Benefits of Recycling Calculator

Vegetation (Green Lid)

Green waste is taken to the Eastern Creek composting facility to be screened for inorganic material like glass, and then composted. The mature product has a number of garden uses and is sold wholesale or at retail outlets.

What can I do?

There are many ways you can avoid creating waste and contributing to landfill, including:

Come along to one of our waste-related workshops or bus tours to find out more about reducing waste. Check our Diary Dates page for schedules or visit Live Well in Willoughby.