Creating sustainable solutions is a key focus for councils – encompassing multiple aspects of a community – so instead of introducing stand-alone initiatives many councils are looking for a complete overhaul through the introduction of a circular economy.
Rather than just throwing away waste, a circular system encourages local governments to find sustainable ways to reduce what gets sent to landfill and increase what gets reused. Currently, materials and resources are taken from the planet to turn into products, only to eventually be thrown away and new materials sourced for new products.
At Smart Cities 2022, Circular Australia CEO, Lisa McLean, discussed the increasing need for cities to take a circular approach to how they use and consume resources.
In her presentation, Ms McLean drew on previous case studies and offered directions for councils to take towards changing their approach to waste disposal. For councils, creating a circular economy could mean changing waste management systems, manufacturing products from recyclable materials, and encouraging businesses to sell waste through incentives.
In terms of the kinds of projects councils can achieve, Circular Australia worked with St Vincent’s Hospital to collect ampules and needle caps to be recycled at Allmould Plastics in regional New South Wales in Orange. The ampules and needle caps were properly cleaned and turned into wind farm components and roller door wheels.
For local governments, circular economies can not only generate environmental benefits, but also financial ones. European research shows that transitions to circular economies can increase economic growth between 0.8 – 1.4% annually.
Smart Cities Council is a member of Circular Australia’s Precincts, Infrastructure & Industry Taskforce.
See all our Taskforce members on our Partners Page