Newsletter December 2018

Chairman’s message

The Waste Authority has had a productive year during which a considerable amount has been achieved. We have worked with all our partners and stakeholders actively to deliver responses and advice. Our response to challenges such as China’s National Sword policy and the high-level of waste generation in Western Australia are evident in the intensive review of the waste strategy, the creation of a pilot to use construction and demolition waste, a priority waste stream that we will continue to focus on in coming years, and our engagement in the waste-to-energy debate. We have supported the successful metropolitan pilot of our food organics garden organics (FOGO) program and we have been inspired by the stories from many recipients granted funds from the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery account.

The members of the Waste Authority recognise that we have leaned on our stakeholders heavily this year for input into policy and to support our programs of work. This engagement has led to meaningful outcomes and a new shared understanding. I thank the waste sector for your contributions and your generosity.

Our engagement with the Minister for Environment over the past 12 months has been frequent and constructive and has resulted in the delivery of initiatives that we believe will help us to overcome some of the considerable challenges we face in improving waste management in Western Australia.

Our list of achievements in 2018 would not have been possible without the support of the staff at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, especially the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Division.

During 2018 I covered quite a few miles and talked a lot of rubbish. I was privileged to attend many informative events and meeting inspiring people. To name a just a few, I spoke at the Waste to Energy Forum in Ballarat, Victoria; I opened the Forever Project’s Landfill Landscape Garden at Bushmead Maida Vale, funded through the CIE program; I met with  the CEOs of Sustainability Victoria and Green Industries South Australia to discuss shared interests between our entities; I presented to the City of Wanneroo's Leadership Meeting in July 2018 and attended many meetings with local government mayors and senior staff, government department heads, industry and community forums to elaborate on the direction and strategy for WARR; In November, I attended and presented awards at the Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council Art for Waste Awareness Exhibition and Marine Debris Sculpture Competition in Hopetoun, and found myself wanting to take many of the works home. Accompanied by our Deputy Chair, Jenny Bloom (and all other members Glen McLeod, Victoria Bond and Neil Foley) I attended and spoke at the successful 2018 Waste & Recycle Conference and exhibition at the Crown in Perth.

When Waste Authority members were not on the road we were on the air or online. We reached 1 000 likes in October 2018 on our Facebook page.

It is wonderful to see many of our community groups active on Facebook and sharing their project updates with their communities and the Authority. We love seeing everyone’s progress and photos.

If you haven’t already, please like and share our page with friends who are interested in better practice waste management, including avoiding the creation of waste as well as recycling.

I did around eight radio interviews throughout 2018 and we participated in and supported the creation of the Own Your Impact campaign.

The Waste Authority participated in the West Australian’s National Recycling Week lift out on 12 November as part of our strategy to drive behaviour change in personal waste management. In the same week we hosted the most successful Infinity Awards to date.

I think we as the Western Australian waste sector can take a moment at this time of the year to reflect on our progress and achievements of 2018. While we all know there is still a lot to do we need to rejuvenate over the end of year break so that we have the energy to come back in 2019 to tackle our challenges with renewed enthusiasm.

With that I wish you all a safe, peaceful and restful festive season and look forward to a productive 2019 that I hope will start off with the launch of a new waste strategy, avoiding the generation of waste, recovering more resources from our waste and protecting our precious environment and moving towards a circular economy.

Marcus Geisler
Chairman


Review of the state’s waste strategy

Western Australia’s waste strategy is the over-arching instrument that drives the Waste Authority’s initiatives and undertakings. The Waste Authority, on behalf of the State Government, is now finalising a statutory review of the waste strategy after a second round of targeted consultation that took place in October 2018.

A new strategy will guide future waste management work through the vision, objectives, targets and headline strategies it contains.

The revised vision for managing waste, as set out in the new draft is:

“Western Australia will become a sustainable, low-waste, circular economy in which human health and the environment are protected from the impacts of waste.”

The draft strategy incorporates the waste hierarchy, which is a widely accepted decision-making tool that ranks waste management options in order of their general environmental desirability. Waste avoidance is ranked as the highest waste management option in the hierarchy.

The draft strategy also introduces a circular economy approach to complement the waste hierarchy. After avoidance, the aim is to keep materials circulating in the economy for as long as possible through options such as reuse and recovery.

Work is also underway on plans and documents that will support the delivery of the strategy such as:

  • a waste strategy action plan
  • Waste Authority position and guidance statements
  • a state waste infrastructure plan
  • an annual business plan
  • a waste data strategy.

Members of the Waste Authority and staff of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation travelled to Bunbury, Albany, Port Hedland, Kalgoorlie Geraldton, Northam and around the Perth Metro area to consult on the waste strategy and met with a number of CEOs to talk about the statutory review of the 2012 waste strategy.


Roads to Reuse pilot

On 15 November 2018, Environment Minister Hon Stephen Dawson MLC and Transport Minister Hon Rita Saffioti MLA announced the Roads to Reuse pilot to suppOn 15 November 2018, Environment Minister Hon Stephen Dawson MLC and Transport Minister Hon Rita Saffioti MLA announced the Roads to Reuse pilot to support Main Roads Western Australia’s use of recycled construction and demolition products in road construction. Material used in the project must meet a revised product specification to ensure protection of public health and the environment.  The product specification contains rigorous sampling and testing requirements for construction and demolition recyclers. A new product testing scheme supports recyclers with the costs of meeting these requirements. Furthermore, an independent audit testing scheme will provide an additional level of assurance that recycled construction and demolition products are fit for purpose.

The purpose of the pilot is to ascertain the extent to which producers can supply recycled construction and demolition products in accordance with the revised specification and ascertain Main Roads’ confidence in using recycled product.

Construction and demolition waste has been identified as a focus material in the draft Waste Strategy 2030. Future road construction is seen as an important use for construction and demolition waste, which makes up about half of Western Australia’s waste stream.

The Waste Authority has supported this pilot on the Kwinana Freeway in anticipation that it will form the basis for a more permanent program of works.ort Main Roads Western Australia’s use of recycled construction and demolition products in road construction. Material used in the project must meet a revised product specification to ensure protection of public health and the environment.  The product specification contains rigorous sampling and testing requirements for construction and demolition recyclers. A new product testing scheme supports recyclers with the costs of meeting these requirements. Furthermore, an independent audit testing scheme will provide an additional level of assurance that recycled construction and demolition products are fit for purpose.

The purpose of the pilot is to ascertain the extent to which producers can supply recycled construction and demolition products in accordance with the revised specification and ascertain Main Roads’ confidence in using recycled product.

Construction and demolition waste has been identified as a focus material in the draft Waste Strategy 2030. Future road construction is seen as an important use for construction and demolition waste, which makes up about half of Western Australia’s waste stream.

The Waste Authority has supported this pilot on the Kwinana Freeway in anticipation that it will form the basis for a more permanent program of works.


2018 Waste & Recycle Conference

On 6 September 2018 the Minister for Environment, the Hon Stephen Dawson, opened the 2018 Waste and Recycle Conference at the Crown Towers, Perth. The conference is the annual flagship event for waste stakeholders in Western Australia, hosted by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, the Waste Management Association of Australia and the Western Australian Local Government Association. The Waste Authority was the conference platinum sponsor in 2018.

The Minister launched Own Your Impact at the Conference, a new State Government website that aims to inspire Western Australians to improve their own waste behaviours. The Own Your Impact website provides practical tips and information in an accessible and appealing way. 

Conference key note speakers included the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Director General, Mike Rowe; Jaine Morris, co-founder of the Circular Experiment, who highlighted the value of a circular economy; and David Rogers, Head of International Resource Management, WRAP UK, who spoke about the implementation of Love Food, Hate Waste program in the UK and Europe.

This year, the conference and exhibition attracted over 320 participants from state and local governments, industry, peak bodies, community and individuals.

There were 39 sponsors with trade space at this year’s exhibition that provided delegates with additional networking opportunities.

The 2019 Waste and Recycle Conference will be held at Crown Towers, Perth from Wednesday 25 to Friday 27 September.


WasteSorted

WasteSorted is a brand and communication toolkit created to help local governments communicate to their residents the importance of separating their waste and sorting it correctly at home to achieve less contamination in bins and increase the diversion of waste from landfill. 

 

The toolkit provides templates and icons that local governments can customise in their own education and communication materials.

The WasteSorted toolkit was launched at the 2018 WA Local Government Convention in August, and widely promoted at the Waste and Recycling Conference in September 2018.

As local governments engage with and use the WasteSorted toolkit, their feedback will assist with the ongoing review and improvement of the toolkit. Officers from the Department of Water and Environment Regulation have worked closely with the Western Australian Local Government Association, local governments and regional councils to promote consistent messaging and make source separation and recycling easy to understand and practice for householders.

The WasteSorted toolkit can be accessed at www.wastesorted.wa.gov.au. Local governments are encouraged to use the toolkit when developing their communication materials, and are welcome to contact the WasteSorted coordinator on 6364 6979 for any queries and support. 


Better Bins

The Better Bins program has committed over $10 million to 19 local governments to improve kerbside collection systems.

This represents about 46 per cent of Perth metropolitan households and nearly 30,000 households outside the Perth metropolitan area.

After a successful trial of 7 000 households through the Better Bins program, the City of Melville has committed to full-scale adoption of the three-bin food organics and garden organics (FOGO) system.

The City of Fremantle and Town of East Fremantle partnered with the City of Melville in the trial and are have subsequently committed to adopting the three-bin FOGO system.

The Shire of Harvey has recently committed to adopting a three-bin FOGO system, joining City of Bunbury and shires of Donnybrook-Balingup, Capel and Collie that have implemented FOGO systems successfully in the area.


Infinity Awards 2018 

The 2018 Infinity awards took place on 15 November 2018 at the Westin in Perth. The gala dinner brought together 250 people from WA's waste-savvy community for a newly revamped night-of-nights.

Winners and commendations were announced for 11 refreshed categories, with recipients receiving their awards from the Minister for Environment, The Hon Stephen Dawson and the Chairman of the Waste Authority Marcus Geisler.

A record 97 entries were received from across the state for this year’s awards. After a shortlisting process, 52 finalists were announced by Minister Dawson.

It was eye-opening for the judges just how many people there are in Western Australia battling waste in their corner of the world. Their stories are inspirational.

Many of the finalists attended the awards night and the stories of the winners and recipients of highly commended and commended certificates were shared with the audience. This made for an entertaining and inspiring evening.

The Waste Authority and Minister have received very positive feedback about the highly-acclaimed event and look forward to an even better turn out next year.

The Waste Authority’s website has a list of all the 2018 Infinity Awards winners with a brief overview of their projects. Once again, congratulations to you all!