Tamworth Regional Council comprises the amalgamation of five former Councils. All the former Councils were founding members of the Northern Inland Regional Waste (NIRW) group. Formed in 1998, NIRW is a collaboration of Councils from the New England and North West region of New South Wales who are focused on delivering cost effective and sustainable waste management options for the regional community. Tamworth Regional Council hosts the positions of the NIRW Executive Officer and Program Coordinator.
The group's membership now consists of 13 local government councils from the North West and New England regions of New South Wales. The current member council’s are Armidale Dumaresq, Glen Innes Severn Shire, Gunnedah Shire, Guyra Shire, Gwydir Shire, Inverell Shire, Liverpool Plains Shire, Moree Plains Shire, Narrabri Shire, Tamworth Regional, Tenterfield Shire, Uralla Shire and Walcha.
The objectives of NIRW are to:
- develop and implement regional waste management programs that achieve a sustainable balance between the region’s social, economic and environmental needs
- encourage partnerships and cooperation between member Council’s and external stakeholders in a collaborative approach to addressing sustainability issues for the overall benefit of the region
- identify and investigate all opportunities for coordinated approaches in the provision of waste management services and the achievement of waste avoidance and waste minimisation within the region
- consider all waste management issues affecting member Council’s and where possible speak as a united voice in response to State and Federal Government initiatives or directives
- to prevent the generation of waste and promote awareness by commerce and industry with the ideal being – what is good waste management practice for commerce and industry is good for the environment
- to maximize the recovery, recycling and reuse of resources from waste whilst addressing the concept of renewable energy
As a member of NIRW, Tamworth Regional Council participates in various NIRW campaigns. Some of the activities include:
- annual chemical collection campaign
- sustainable on-farm waste management program
- community sharps waste management
- regional litter strategy
- landfill operator training
- waste > art and design competition
- regional contracts including:
- drumMUSTER container collection and processing
- metal waste and battery collection
- green waste processing
- construction and demolition waste crushing and screening
- used motor oil collections
Council also led the development of an aligned request for tenders for a sub-regional Domestic Waste Collection and Processing Contract during 2008. The aligned tender involved Tamworth Regional, Gunnedah Shire and Liverpool Plains Shire Councils.