Western Australia’s Recycling Strategy for 2018

Increasing the level of awareness surrounding the need to dispose of the waste we produce as a society in an environmentally friendly manner is still as important as it always has been. What we have witnessed is a keen drive to push sustainability and eco-friendly practices across Australia with several Government bodies leading the way.

The Waste Authority as an institution is currently delivering a directive in tandem with the Western Australian Waste Strategy, which seeks to decrease the amount of waste generated whilst increasing the amount of waste being recovered across every sector to improve our performance as a region and bring us up to the standard of other mainland states.

The team here at West Bin, leaders in skip bin hire in Perth, take our mission to encourage recycling very seriously which is why we fully support the Waste Authority’s initiative. With that in mind, we’re going to outline what the recycling strategy for Western Australia encompasses for 2018.

Five Year Strategy Objectives

The main focus moving forward is to contribute significantly towards sustainability whilst protecting human health and the environment. One of the main objectives is to considerably reduce the total amount of waste generated by promoting smarter choices in the home, in the workplace and within public spaces.

One way that we could do this at home is by being more aware of the products we purchase, opting for those which include sustainably sourced packaging and which can be recycled again instead of binned. It could also include the reuse of unwanted possessions, either through donations or by finding new and innovative ways to repurpose what we no longer need.

Another focus is the promotion of good recycling practices. When we recycle efficiently, we remove the need to create more waste by reducing the use of raw materials which has a secondary impact on the amount of energy that needs to be consumed, which in turn directly impacts factors such as co2 output.

Food waste, as well as construction and demolition waste, have been identified as two problem areas which need immediate attention. Recycling and recovery options already exist in these sectors so it’s a case of increasing awareness and promoting greater levels of adoption.

2020 Targets

As mentioned, Western Australia is currently lagging behind other mainland areas and has a lot to do if we’re to meet the targets that we have been given for 2020.

  • Municipal Solid Waste (metropolitan) – 2020 Target 65% recycled (36% achieved in 2016)
  • Municipal Solid Waste (major regional centres) – 2020 Target 50% recycled (31% achieved in 2016)
  • Commercial and Industrial – 2020 Target 70% recycled (56% achieved in 2016)
  • Construction and Demolition – 2020 Target 75% recycled (57% achieved in 2016)

The targets outlined within the Waste Strategy are considered to be ambitious but achievable with a continued focus on improving diversion, avoidance and recovery rates.

Waste Authority Program Budget for 2018

There are several new initiatives which have been outlined for the 2017 – 2018 business plan which are currently underway. In addition, there are several existing initiatives which will continue to run and have a healthy budget allocation. The total budget allocation for this financial year is $19,000,000 AUD.

New Initiatives

 

  • Focus on Food Waste

 

Although there is a considerable amount of food waste across the supply chain – a significant amount of this overall figure occurs at household level. Figures show that up to 60% of the waste binned in our homes consists of food and organic garden waste. To put that another way, food is the largest component of the average waste bin and equates to 35% of the weight of the contents of any bin.

To help you to visualise the financial aspect, the average Australian household throws away up to $1000 AUD worth of food per year. That is a significant amount of food which typically ends up in landfill, not to mention the impact on your overall finances. What could you do with another $1000 per year?

The goal is to reduce the overall amount of food waste produced and to divert it from landfill. To assist, the Waste Authority has identified several programs that are being rolled out to help drive these targets.

  • Better Bins – The idea behind this initiative is to promote composting which involves using waste organic food material as a fertiliser for your garden. In addition, the scope of waste collected via green waste services will be expanded to include for food waste.
  • Community Grants Scheme – Individual community groups are eligible for grants to support them in their waste reduction and recycling endeavors. Some of this funding has already been allocated with a significant number of composting bins now in use as well as many other projects underway.
  • Community and Industry Engagement – CIE funding has been used with much success to reduce and recycle vast amounts of construction and demolition waste. Some of this funding will be diverted to assist the focus of food waste.
  • Waste Wise Schools – Additional funding will be allocated to programs which seek to raise the awareness of food waste reduction in school children. A number of programs are already underway which seek to educate children about how their choices can assist the objective.

 

  • Illegal Dumping Community Education Campaign

 

Illegal dumping or fly-tipping has always been a concern and is currently covered by the 1986 Environmental Protection Act. The damage that illegal dumping does to our environment is significant as it is usually carried out in less densely populated areas – the areas in which greater numbers of wildlife tend to inhabit.

There has been an increase in the amount of illegal dumping since 2010 although it is said that most cases won’t be reported. The ongoing waste levy has been cited as a factor that may contribute to an increase in this practice.

The goal of this new initiative is to raise awareness through a series of education programs which serve to highlight to the public just how much of a problem the illegal dumping of waste material is. This will cover;

  • Highlighting hotspots and problem areas as well as the type of material that is usually dumped.
  • Conduct research into the financial cost of illegal dumping to include the cost for remediation.

 

  • Better Practice Vergeside and Drop-Off Trials

 

The Waste Strategy has outlined diversion targets for the collection of landfill waste, most of which is collected via kerbside and vergeside services. It is believed that the process for carrying out these services can be further improved to make them more efficient, at the same time increasing the knowledge of households in terms of how best to use them.

Trials will be conducted to evaluate the performance of several different collection strategies which will then be implemented if successful. The goal of this exercise is to better inform what the official policy and guidelines should denote which can then be standardised and rolled out, backed up by performance data.

  • This process is ongoing with several different trials going through a tender process before being implemented.
  • These trials will be low cost, making them a great way to drive efficiency in an area that has large room for improvement.

 

  • Recycled Product Policy

 

The state government is a significant procurer of a range of products and services, spending over 23 billion dollars in the financial year 2013 – 2014. Because of this, the state government clearly has a large amount of influence that can be leveraged to drive efficiency.

Through focusing on sustainability and economic development in its procurement policies, it is believed that the government can exact significant change in the way businesses choose to operate.

The thought process is to increase the number of recycled products that the government procures which should in turn influence companies to focus further on the way in which they manufacture their products.

  • It is believed that this initiative will further highlight the areas in which significant reductions in newly created products can be made – seeking instead to focus on recycling as much as possible and reducing energy consumption.
  • Leading the way by setting an example is great way to influence government at a local level and further reduce the volume of waste that ends up in landfill.

Sustainability Logo

 

  • Awareness Events

 

Section 5 of the Waste Strategy aims to ramp up the level of communication to the public and private enterprise through holding a series of conferences and conventions. These events are intended to be a great source of education in the effort to raise awareness of good practices even further.

The two main events include the Local Government Convention and the Waste and Recycling Conference although other events will be held as appropriate.

  • Communication is key which is why these events will be announced in good time, allowing all those who wish to attend the opportunity to do so.
  • There will likely be some crossover as the intention is to invite government officials to speak at other venues where initiatives like Better Bins are being discussed.

Ongoing Initiatives

 

  • Household Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste in the Household

 

The Household Hazardous Waste program allocates funding to local governments to assist with the collection and disposal of hazardous household waste. Hazardous waste is a broad category and usually includes things such as the gasses contained within refrigerators as well as old engine oil and other similar contaminants.

The overall goal is to reduce the level of harm to staff as well as equipment whilst removing much more hazardous waste from the standard waste stream, making mixed-use facilities far more streamlined, in turn improving their performance.  

  • The government is entering into service contracts with third-party providers to allow for handling of these materials at selected local government sites.
  • This entire process will be transparent with a range of competitive tenders used to select suitable service providers.

 

  • Keep Australia Beautiful Council

 

The idea behind this initiative is to promote awareness of the impact of casual littering where people occasionally drop litter instead of binning it. Whilst not as harmful as the illegal dumping of large amounts of waste, this litter is still a significant contributory factor to the decline of our environment and eco system.

As always, the goal is prevention which is why this program is ongoing and runs in conjunction with several other programs.

  • A large proportion of the program includes for researching the impact of littering to our environment.
  • It is considered that providing incentives are a good way to encourage appropriate behaviour so several incentives will be made available to those who participate in official schemes.

 

  • Recycled Construction Products Program

 

Construction waste is a problem that will take a lot of effort to address. We do well by recycling a lot of materials such as concrete and steel but there is still more to be done. One way to address this is by promoting the production of recycled construction materials that can be used again in the event of demolition.

  • There is a lack of knowledge surrounding recycled construction materials with some believing that the costs are significant, making the use of such products a disadvantage.
  • This initiative seeks to reverse that train of thought by assisting in the conduction of research into sustainable construction technologies.

Waste Recycling in Perth

As the largest city in Western Australia, it’s up to those of us who live in Perth to really drive this vision forwards and make a difference. Not only will we improve our lives, we’ll improve the lives of our children and their children too, not to mention make our country a much better place and more eco-friendly environment.

Here at West Bin, we’ve been providing recycling and waste management services for nearly 30 years, gaining a lot of experience and insight in that time. Through our expertise, we can assist you in making a positive change through the use of our environment conscious services. Whether you require the use of a skip during a home renovation project or need to safely dispose of hazardous waste, we can assist.

Simply call now on (08) 9249 1100 to speak to one of our team or visit our contact us page and let us do the rest.

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