Governments at every level are responsible for setting policy, actually collecting and managing waste and demonstrating good examples of their own activities to reduce their waste signature.
The government sector has an involvement with waste management from the local government level managing household rubbish collections, kerbside pickups and hazardous waste collections to managing joint facilities with other councils and recycling and recovering waste.
At the state level, WA is charged with setting policy and regulation to move us towards best practice in waste management.
The responsible Minister for waste policy in WA is the Hon Stephen Dawson, Minister for Environment.
A government agency or department needs to set an example to others in terms of avoiding the creation of waste. Departments can work together to increase efficiencies.
By ensuring other departments and agencies are aware of surplus materials, precious and costly resources can have an extended life
Recycling can make great savings and also create a revenue stream so it's doubly rewarding. In the case of local government and State Government agencies, purchasing decisions ultimately effect recycling outcomes. For agenices, leading by example in establishing a "green office" can start with recycling office paper and cardboard and extend right up to organics recycling arrangements in kitchens to handle food waste.
Whilst many regional and local councils actually provide recycling of waste for households, sustainable practices applied across their own day to day operations also delivers many benefits, including improved efficiency and reduced costs.
Information is also available from the Planet Ark website called "Business Recycling"
Government can assist in Western Australia’s efforts to reduce waste by considering opportunities for involvement in resource recovery projects and/or purchasing services that ensure increased resource recovery.
For instance a local government may choose a competitively priced waste service provider that offers increased resource recovery or a State Government department may have an internal waste reduction program that includes encouraging and supporting waste reduction initiatives, such as on-site composting of waste from suitable organic waste streams derived from departmental facilities.
Considered and practical policies that reduce the need to dispose of materials, but ensure proper and safe disposal takes place when required, are essential.
Where waste derived from metropolitan areas is disposed to landfill, a levy applies. You can find out more about the landfill levy here.