The day prior to its 11 December meeting, Waste Authority members undertook site visits of the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council’s Regional Resource Recovery Centre in Canning Vale; the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council’s Resource Recovery Park in Hazelmere and its Red Hill Waste Management Facility; and the Western Metropolitan Recycling Centre in Shenton Park. The guided tours provided an excellent opportunity for Waste Authority members to see first-hand, recycling and recovery facilities in action and to meet with facility managers and staff to discuss local issues. Further visits to recycling and recovery facilities are planned in 2020.
At its 11 December meeting, the Waste Authority noted the likelihood, consequence and impact of identified risks in achieving the Avoid, Recover and Protect Waste Strategy targets. Actions to mitigate these risks are underway through the governance procedures and Waste Strategy Action Plan.
Members discussed the Waste Authority’s business planning cycle for 2019-20 in preparation for the 2020-21 Business Plan, and a dedicated planning session will be held following the 26 February 2020 meeting of the Waste Authority.
The Waste Authority was briefed on consultations in response to the COAG announcement of waste export bans. Members noted that an industry roundtable was held, attended by two Commonwealth officers, WA Department of Premier and Cabinet officers, local industry representatives and DWER staff. Issues discussed included definitions, processing and technology options, markets, timelines and issues and barriers in relation to export bans.
A general discussion was held about waste to energy facilities planned for Western Australia.
The Waste Authority discussed the forthcoming Departmental review into the Waste Levy and reviewed the draft ‘Closing the Loop – Waste reforms for a circular economy in Western Australia.’ Both issues are further subject to Ministerial approval prior to the planned 12 week consultation period.
The Waste Authority approved the Waste Data Strategy, which was reviewed following consultation with key stakeholders, including a public submission period and a live webinar. The Waste Data Strategy provides information about the principles, objectives and specific actions which will be undertaken by the Waste Authority and DWER in relation to waste data, in order to implement the WARR Action Plan 2030 and achieve the targets and objectives of the WARR Strategy 2030. Following consideration by the Minister for Environment, the Waste Data Strategy will be published on the Waste Authority’s website and a summary of consultation will be distributed to stakeholders who provided feedback. Data on waste generation, disposal and recovery in 2017-18 was presented in graphed format and these diagrams will be available on the updated Waste Authority website in the New Year.
The Waste Authority received a presentation on the Illegal Dumping Program from DWER’s Compliance and Enforcement team. The Illegal Dumping Program consists of a specialist group of DWER investigators authorised under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 to investigate and prosecute those who illegally dump waste.
The Waste Authority discussed foundation issues for a future behaviour change program with consistent community messaging about minimising waste generated, increasing rates of recycling through reduced contamination in kerbside bins and protecting the environment from issues such as illegal dumping.
The Waste Authority noted the establishment of a reference group to help guide the introduction of FOGO.
The Authority also noted that the 2019-20 funding for the Community and Industry Engagement grants program was well progressed with funding agreements being finalised.