Marcus Geisler, WA Waste Authority Chairman, provides an update on reforms contained in the new Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030.
Over the next 12 months the Western Australian Better Bins program will be implemented in more than 370,000 households in the City of Joondalup, City of Fremantle and Town of East Fremantle, plus additional households in the City of Melville.
The City of Melville trialled a full FOGO system in 2017-18, returning positive results for the diversion of household organics from landfill.
In its Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030, the Western Australian Government outlined food organics and garden organics collection (FOGO) as a priority for waste avoidance and minimisation.
Run by the Western Australian Waste Authority, the Better Bins program aims to ensure that all Perth and Peel households have a third kerbside bin for FOGO by 2025.
Better Bins runs on the principal that more waste separation at the source leads to less contamination and therefore greater recycling and reuse rates.
Under the three-bin FOGO system, food scraps and garden organics are separated from other waste categories at kerbside and reused to create high-quality compost.
The system also functions to keep other waste streams clean and uncontaminated, therefore making them easier to recycle, reprocess and remake into products, reducing the need for extraction of new materials
Currently 16 local governments participate in the program and of these, five are providing a full FOGO service.
After the 370,000 new additions the rate of household participation across the state will stand at 37 per cent.
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will soon start consulting with key stakeholders on how to promote and encourage local governments’ adoption of FOGO systems, hoping to increase material recovery to 75 per cent by 2030.
WA has extended the funding application period until 30 June 2019.
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.
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.