Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 released

The WA Government has released its Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 to guide the state in becoming a sustainable, low-waste circular economy.

The strategy is supported by an action plan that includes a commitment to use more than 25,000 tonnes of recycled construction and demolition waste as road base under the Roads to Reuse program. It also includes a strategic review of WA’s waste and recycling infrastructure by 2020 to guide future development.

Historically, Western Australia has generated the highest volume of waste per capita in the nation, and has had among the lowest rates of waste recovery.

A cornerstone of the waste strategy is a new target that will ensure all Perth and Peel households will have a third kerbside bin for Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) by 2025.

Under the three-bin FOGO system, food scraps and garden organics are separated from other waste categories and reused to create high-quality compost.

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The government in a statement said implementing this system will ensure Western Australia can meet the targets set out in the waste strategy, the amount of waste going to landfill is reduced and more household waste is recovered, reused and recycled.

The WA Government will work with local governments to adopt the three-bin FOGO system and ensure it is rolled out successfully.

The Southern Metropolitan Regional Council trialled the FOGO system across 7000 households in 2017. The trial received strong support from locals, and the City of Melville plans to roll it out permanently in June.

The state government will work with regional councils to address their own unique waste challenges.

The ambitious targets outlined in the strategy – a 20 per cent reduction in waste generation per capita and a 75 per cent rate of material recovery by 2030 – will build on the momentum achieved by the introduction of the WA Government’s container deposit scheme in early 2020 and the ban on lightweight plastic bags.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the state government will work collaboratively with local governments and the community to achieve these ambitious targets.

Three-bin rollout for the City of Joondalup

Perth’s City of Joondalup has commenced a three-bin rollout with new look SUEZ waste trucks hitting the streets.

The roll-out will encompass 60,000 residential properties and aligns with the Waste Authority’s Waste Strategy (more information here) to improve waste avoidance and resource recovery. The trucks promote green waste sorting, waste and recycling, displaying the text “Let’s sort” to align with each of the three processes.

The three-bin system has been partly funded by the Better Bins program – a $20 million WA Government initiative that provides funding to local governments to implement better practice kerbside waste collection.

The bin lid colour change will bring the city in line with the Australian Standard – red for general waste, lime green for green waste and yellow for recycling.

During the bin roll-out the city will deliver a new 140-litre red lid bin for general waste and replace the old general waste bin lid with a new lime green lid. The bin will then be used for green waste.

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Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said the roll-out of the three-bin system was a significant milestone for the city and the new method of collecting household waste would deliver huge benefits for residents.

“The new system is an integral part of the city’s commitment to meeting the WA Government’s target of diverting 65 per cent of municipal solid waste from landfill by 2020, which is also a key aspiration of the City’s Waste Management Plan,” Mayor Jacob said.

“There has also been a significant increase in disposal costs at landfill from $120 per tonne in 2013-14 to $205 per tonne in 2018-19, and this figure will continue to rise.

“Changing from a two-bin system to a three-bin system provides an opportunity to generate both cost savings for the city, and therefore our ratepayers, as well as reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfill.

“I encourage residents to embrace these changes and to be more ‘waste wise’ by thinking about ways to reduce the waste they create in their daily lives.”

The new 140-litre red lid general waste bin will have an information pack attached to the lid, providing information on collection days and how to use each bin.

Tenders open for WA container deposit scheme coordinator

The WA Government is seeking applications for a scheme coordinator to implement its container deposit scheme (CDS).

A scheme co-ordinator will establish and operate the collection network and will be responsible for managing the scheme’s finances.

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The successful applicant will be a not-for profit company and be appointed by WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson.

New refund points and container sorting and processing plants will create 500 jobs across regional and metropolitan WA.

The scheme is part of the state government’s undertaking to reduce waste, which includes a ban on lightweight single-use plastic bags and a review of the state’s waste strategy.

Applications are open on the Tenders WA website and will close on 5 December 2018. The scheme will commence in early 2020.

Mr Dawson said Western Australians are overwhelmingly in favour of a container deposit scheme with 97 survey respondents supporting the scheme.

“Appointment of the scheme co-ordinator is a crucial step in the rollout of this container deposit scheme, and I look forward to working with the successful candidate to deliver the best scheme for all Western Australians,” he said.

WA Government seeks opinion on waste strategy

Western Australians are being urged have their say on the state’s new waste strategy.

WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson called on the community, industry and local governments to participate in a series of workshops being held throughout WA in February as part of the strategy’s consultation process.

The workshops will launch in Perth on February 1, 2018 with subsequent sessions in Albany, Bunbury, Kalgoorlie, Port Hedland and Geraldton. There will be three workshops in Perth.

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The consultation paper, which is open for public comment, looks at opportunities to improve Western Australia’s waste and recycling performance which the government said is lagging behind that of other Australian states.

In 2014-15, on average each Western Australian generated 2623 kilograms of waste – the second highest rate of waste generation in Australia per capita and 17 per cent above the average of other states and territories.

The new targets proposed by the strategy will bring Western Australia’s waste and recycling performance in line with other Australian jurisdictions.

For more information and to register for a workshop go to the Waste Authority’s website.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said reducing the amount of waste to landfill can generate significant economic opportunities for the Western Australian community.

“For every 10,000 tonnes of waste recycled, 9.2 full time equivalent jobs are created compared to only 2.8 jobs when waste is landfilled,” he said.

“We want to engage widely with the community, industry and local governments to help make Western Australia a sustainable low-waste society which values and protects people’s health and the environment.”

“These workshops provide an opportunity for all of us to work together to achieve greater environmental outcomes, create employment and build businesses.”

WA Government holds waste roundtable

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has chaired a roundtable on how waste management could be improved in the state, with key stakeholders sharing their ideas and experiences.

Representatives from industries including packaging, mining, construction, hospitality and beverages took part in the roundtable as well as environmental organisations and local and state government representatives.

The roundtable was established to hear the views of a wide variety of stakeholders on key waste generation and management issues. Their views will inform the state government’s new waste strategy. A consultation paper, which proposes new directions for the waste strategy, was released last month and is open for public comment until March 1, 2018.

“Issues that were addressed included better separation of waste at its source, including food waste in the household, the move towards a circular economy so resources are reused or recirculated in our economy before disposal to landfill and improving the effectiveness of the waste levy,” Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said.

“A collection of ideas and experiences were shared and I look forward to working with industry and government to continue to improve waste management across the state.”

For more information visit the WA Waste Authority.