The Minister for Environment, the Hon Reece Whitby MLA announced the appointment of Elizabeth Carr AM as Chair of the Waste Authority for a five-year term in his media statement of 19 August 2022. Elizabeth is joined by returning members Lee Broomhall (Deputy Chair), Tim Youé, Kelly Howlett and Josh Byrne. Further information about Waste Authority members can be found here.
Waste Authority members participated in an induction on 6 September 2022 and held their first meeting as a new board on 20 September 2022.
Members were pleased to see the release of the Road to Reuse: Local Government Incentives Program launched by the Minister for Environment on 14 September 2022 at the Waste and Recycle Conference. A copy of the Minister’s media statement can be found here.
The Roads to Reuse: Local Government Incentives Program encourages the use of recycled construction and demolition (C&D) products by providing an incentive payment of $5 per tonne of product used by local governments and sourced from accredited suppliers. Payments are capped at $35,000 per local government, equating to 7,000 tonnes of product, and issued on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Roads to Reuse: Local Government Incentive Program guidelines and how local governments can apply can be found using the link above.
The Waste Authority was also pleased to see the release of the Waste and Recycling in Western Australia 2020-21 report. The report presents data and trends in waste recovery and disposal in Western Australia during the 2020-21 financial year and assesses the State’s progress towards meeting targets set out in the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 (Waste Strategy). Two Power BI reports allow online users to query underlying data sources in various ways to meet their needs.
The Waste Authority received an update on the development of the McGowan Government’s commitment of a State-wide ban on e-waste being disposed to landfill by 2024, supported by $14 million towards the implementation of the ban.
A paper setting out implementation options and general considerations for the ban has been prepared by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and provided to the Minister for Environment for his consideration. The development of an E-waste Infrastructure Grants program is underway to provide funding for projects that support collection and recycling infrastructure to assist the delivery of the ban. The Department of Water and Environment Regulation anticipates the release of a consultation paper on the
e-waste ban by the end of 2022.
The Chair of the Waste Authority’s Program Risk and Performance Committee (PRPC), Kaylene Gulich, provided an update to members on the key outcomes of the recent meeting held on 7 September 2022. The PRPC provides oversight and guidance to the Waste Authority on risk management, program evaluation and financial reporting.
The Waste Authority considered its draft 2021-22 Waste Authority Annual Report. The 2021-22 Annual Report will be provided to the Minister for Environment for tabling in Parliament and then made available on the Waste Authority website in late 2022.
The Waste Authority received a presentation on the Australian State of the Environment 2021 Report (SoE 2021). The SoE 2021 report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the current state of the environment and aims to build greater community awareness and understanding of Australia’s environmental issues, to inform policy and improve management of Australia’s environment and heritage.
An update on the National and State Recycling Infrastructure Modernisation funding was noted by the Waste Authority. Implementation of the Australian export ban of certain waste products has commenced through the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020. The timetable for implementing waste export bans commenced with waste glass from 1 January 2021 and mixed plastics from 1 July 2021, and will extend to single polymers from 1 July 2022, tyres from 1 December 2022 and paper and cardboard from 1 July 2024.
An update on the Food Waste for Healthy Soils funding program was also noted by members. As part of the National Soil Strategy, the Australian Government announced a Food Waste for Healthy Soils Fund. The fund includes $57 million to support the diversion of nutrient rich household and commercial organic waste from landfill to soils building new or enhancing existing organic waste processing infrastructure.
Applications received under an expression of interest process to support Western Australian projects were considered by the Minister for Environment and have been submitted to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP for consideration.
The next meeting of the Waste Authority will be held on 8 December 2022.