Marcus Geisler, WA Waste Authority Chairman, provides an update on reforms contained in the new Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030.
Champions of waste reduction and recycling have been recognised at this year’s Infinity Awards.
The annual Waste Authority awards showcase the contributions of Western Australians who are leading the way to a lower waste future.
Workpower’s Balcatta Re-use Shop, which provides employment opportunities for people with disability, took out two titles – Waste Initiative of the Year and Waste Team of the Year.
The shop, which turns trash to treasure, diverts almost 5000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year.
Former Port Hedland mayor and founder of the Care for Hedland Environment Association, Kelly Howlett was awarded the WA Waste Award for 2018 for her hands-on work promoting a litter free community and encouraging recycling and sustainability.
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Carnarvon-based environmental entrepreneur Joanne Bumbak was named 2018 Waste Champion – producing preserves and ice cream from 36 tonnes of ‘rescued’ fruit and vegetables which would otherwise have been dumped in landfill.
Plastic Free July Foundation took out the Community Waste Award for its Plastic Free July Challenge, which this year saw 3.4 million people worldwide pledge to live without plastic for a month.
Mindarie Regional Council won the Waste Innovation of the Year title for its Face Your Waste transparent kerbside bin campaign showing the scale of household waste.
Other winners included Subiaco-based, waste-free restaurant New Normal Bar + Kitchen and Southern Metropolitan Regional Council and the City of Melville for the successful rollout of its trial of a food organics and garden organics three-bin recycling system.
Schools were also recognised for their significant contribution to waste education throughout the state.
Hillcrest Primary School was named Waste Wise School of the Year, and Year 12 Presbyterian Ladies’ College student Sacha Winter was recognised for leading sustainability initiatives to dramatically reduce the amount of waste produced by her school.
ABC journalist Lisa Morrison won the Media Award for a series of reports that localised the popular War on Waste national campaign.
2018 Infinity Award recipients:
WA Waste Award 2018
Winner: Kelly Howlett
WA Waste Initiative of the Year 2018
Winner: Workpower – Balcatta Reuse Shop
Category 1: Avoid Recover Protect – Community Waste Award
Winner: Plastic Free July Foundation (Plastic Free July Challenge)
Highly commended: Total Green Recycling
Commended: City of Cockburn
Category 2: Avoid Recover Protect – Commercial and Industrial Waste Award
Winner: New Normal Bar + Kitchen
Highly commended: Crown Perth (Recycle 90 Program)
Commended: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (Operating Theatre ‘Anaesthetic Waste Showcased’)
Category 3: Avoid Recover Protect – Waste Management Award
Winner: Southern Metropolitan Regional Council and City of Melville (Three-bin Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) Trial)
Highly commended: Waste and Recycling Industry Association of WA, Cleanaway WA, Southern Metropolitan Regional Council, SUEZ WA and Western Australian Local Government Association (Statewide Guidelines for Kerbside Recycling)
Commended: Shire of Collie (FOGO Kerbside Collection System)
Category 4: 2018 Waste Champion
Winner: Joanne Bumbak
Highly commended: Pam Van Effrink
Commended: Lindsay Miles
Category 5: 2018 Young Waste Achiever
Winner: Sacha Winter (17) – Presbyterian Ladies’ College
Highly commended: Nina Prado (8), and Amelie Harrison (8) – Perth College Junior School
Category 6: Waste Team of the Year
Winner: Workpower Balcatta Reuse Shop Team
Highly commended: Wasteless Pantry
Highly commended: City of Cockburn Waste Team
Category 7: Waste Innovation of the Year
Winner: Mindarie Regional Council (Face Your Waste Clear Bins)
Highly commended: City of Joondalup (Ocean Reef Fish Cleaning and Waste Management Station)
Highly commended: SpiderWaste Collection Services
Category 8: Waste Wise School of the Year
Winner: Hillcrest Primary School
Highly commended: Lynwood Senior High School
Highly commended: Santa Maria College
Category 9: Media Award
Winner: Lisa Morrison
Highly commended: Emma Young
Recycled construction and demolition (C&D) waste will be trialled as road base for use on the Kwinana Freeway widening project, WA.
The project is the first major road in WA that will use recycled materials as road base to boost the state’s recycling performance.
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The trial will take place between Russell Road and Roe Highway and will use about 25,000 tonnes of recycled C&D product.
Main Roads WA will work with the Waste Authority and the Department of Water and Environment Regulation (DWER) for the trial.
A new product testing scheme will aim to help C&D recyclers with the costs associated with meeting the appropriate specifications are free of contaminants and asbestos. An independent audit testing scheme aims to provide additional support.
The pilot aims to improve confidence in using recycled C&D products and supporting the state’s waste diversion target. Its findings will be used to establish the WA Government’s Road to Reuse program.
WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the demonstration project is the beginning of a new practice for the government.
“It will demonstrate to local governments and industry that recycled content is usable and value for money, redressing the concerns from many years ago that effectively stopped any reuse of valuable construction and demolition materials,” Mr Dawson says.
“This partnership between DWER, the Waste Authority and Main Roads is a huge step forward for the reduction of construction and demolition waste in Western Australia.
“By using recycled construction and demolition products in projects across the state, we can help meet our landfill diversion targets and focus on recycling materials.”
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the interagency partnership is key to ensuring the ongoing use of recycled material in WA.
“Roads to Reuse establishes a strict testing regime to reduce the risk of contaminants to below allowable limits – protecting people and the environment,” she said.
The WA Waste Authority has released a draft of its Waste Strategy 2030 for comment, outlining key strategies to reduce waste by 20 per cent by 2030.
Other key targets include increasing material recovery to 70 per cent by 2025 and 75 per cent by 2030, and to only recover energy from residual waste.
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It also sets a target of sending no more than 15 per cent of the waste generated in the Perth and Peel regions to be landfilled by 2030.
Strategies to reach these targets include a food organics and garden organics (FOGO) kerbside collection system across the Perth and Peel regions by 2025, provided by local governments with support from the state.
The draft outlines implementing sustainable government procurement practices that encourage the usage of recycled products and support local market development.
A review of the waste levy will also be undertaken to ensure its scope and application meets the objectives of the Waste Strategy 2030.
Statewide communications to support consistent messaging on reducing waste will be developed as part of the strategy, alongside implementing local government waste plans to align planning processes with the new targets laid out.
Data collection and reporting systems will be updated according to the strategy to allow waste generation, recovery and disposal performance be assessed quickly.
A strategy to guide future infrastructure development includes a review of WA’s waste infrastructure and landfills to occur by 2020.
WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said in the report WA has an obligation to its current community and future generations to generate less waste, extract more resources and better manage the disposal of waste.
“Waste Strategy 2030 rises to address that challenge and the opportunities that better choices and better waste management present,” Mr Dawson said.
“We will have to work hard to meet the ambitious targets set out in this strategy and deliver against long-standing issues in the waste community. We won’t, for example, be able to meet our 2025 recovery targets without all metropolitan local government’s adopting a three-bin FOGO system, and I will work with those local governments to achieve this.
“Waste is everyone’s business – individuals, households, neighbourhoods, community groups, schools, small and big businesses, local governments, waste managers, the state government and the media,” he said.
Comments on the Waste Strategy 2030 should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and are due by Tuesday 6 November.
The Western Australian Government will provide 26 community groups with grants for projects that reduce waste, improve recycling and provide community education.
The first round of the 2018 Community Grants Scheme will provide $242,657 to share between the groups.
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Projects funded include the Salty Blue Creation Station for the Ningaloo community recycling centre in Exmouth, which will aim to transform plastic waste into products for resale.
A total of $34,015 will go towards the Cape Conservation Group to establish a recycling centre and to provide an opportunity for community engagement and education on how to live low waste, with less plastic.
Green Skills Albany received $25,023 for a 12-month community engagement project across the Great Southern that will engage the public, community groups and local governments. The Connecting Communities, Councils and Canteens to the Circular Economy program aims to engage 20,000 people and reduce landfill waste by over 70,000 kilograms.
The Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council’s Art for Waste Awareness project will receive $7781 to put together community workshops focused on upcycling marine litter into decorative pieces to minimise single-use waste.
Esperance Growers Market will receive $9600 for its Waste Not Want Not program, which will run two programs that focus on waste management and reduction topics, as well as workshops focused on the creation and distribution of upcycled reusable shopping bags.
The Community Grants Scheme is administered by the Waste Authority and funded through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account.
WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the 26 projects that received grants under this round of funding are great examples of committed community groups seeking to reduce waste and boost recycling.
“Initiatives like these help increase awareness and education around our understanding of the benefits of waste avoidance, reuse and recycling,” he said.
“I commend these groups for their efforts and look forward to the outcomes of these innovative and engaging projects.”
More than $1 million will be shared between 16 WA organisations to develop waste management projects that boost recycling and improve waste management practices.
The Waste Authority’s Community and Industry Engagement program will fund 17 new projects across WA.
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The Southern Metropolitan Regional Council secured more than $130,000 to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of food waste collections from multi-unit dwellings following its recent trial of a food organics/garden organics collection system in the City of Melville.
Boomerang Alliance received $100,000 to implement an environmental engagement program to work with community groups and local businesses to reduce or eliminate problem plastics.
REminda Perth Inc. received more than $125,000 to create two community-based, self-sustaining, plastic recycling hubs designed to reuse domestic plastic waste and create a range of items including toys, containers and art.
The program is designed to support organisations that encourage better waste behaviours and community awareness and is administered by the Waste Authority through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account.
WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the program’s main aim is to support projects that contribute to achieving the state government’s targets of diverting 65 per cent of metropolitan municipal solid waste from landfill by 2020.
“Funding under the CIE program helps successful applicants reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill,” he said.
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The Western Australian Government is reviewing its Waste Strategy. Waste Management Review looks at the changes required to create a level playing field for the sector.