Key outcomes of the Waste Authority’s 7 April 2021 meeting
The Chairman, along with Deputy Chair Lee Broomhall met with the new Minister for Environment, the Hon Amber-Jade Sanderson, MLA on 31 March 2021 to welcome her to the role and discuss waste related matters. The Waste Authority looks forward to working with the Minister on the state government’s ambitious waste agenda.
The Waste Authority considered a draft 2021-22 Waste Strategy Action Plan and draft 2021-22 Business Plan. The Action Plan and Business Plan support the delivery of headline strategies and targets outlined in the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030. The draft 2021-22 Action Plan and Business Plan will be finalised and provided to the Minister for Environment for consideration and approval. Once approved these will be available on the Waste Authority’s website.
The Waste Authority noted key outcomes of the recent meeting of the Program Risk and Performance Committee (PRPC) held on 17 February 2021. The PRPC provides oversight and guidance to the Waste Authority on risk management, program evaluation and financial reporting.
The Department of Finance provided a presentation to the Waste Authority on the revised social procurement framework; common-use arrangements that support waste reduction; progress towards mandating recycled content requirements in State construction projects; reporting protocols for goods and services procurement; and progress towards including provisions within contracts for contractors to provide details on the disposal of waste.
The Waste Authority noted that good progress is being made, with the revised procurement framework set to be released mid-2021.
A food organics garden organics (FOGO) Rollout Plan for 2021-22 was considered by the Waste Authority. The FOGO Rollout Plan, developed with support from the FOGO Reference Group, will build on from the 2020-21 plan. It will focus on market development actions for FOGO derived products, match FOGO processing capacity with projected generation rates and support key stakeholders with planning and implementing FOGO services. The plan will also consider a rollout schedule of local government FOGO services, projected FOGO collection rates, processing capacity and outputs to inform planning. The FOGO Rollout Plan for 2021-22 will be available June/July 2021.
The Waste Authority noted an update on the status of the National waste export ban and funding for recycling infrastructure. In February 2021, the State and Commonwealth governments announced $70 million in joint funding to drive a $174 million recycling investment in Western Australia. Funding from the National Recycling Modernisation Fund and the state government will leverage investments across eight new Western Australian projects, processing approximately 140,000 tonnes of WA plastic and tyre waste each year.
Another $15 million from the National Recycling Modernisation Fund and $15 million from the state government will go towards tackling 100,000 tonnes of waste paper and cardboard per annum at a new $86 million dollar pulp mill in Perth.
The Waste Authority noted the progress on the significant waste reform work underway by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, including amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1986; consultations on the Waste-derived materials discussion paper; the Closing the Loop: Waste reforms for a circular economy discussion paper; the mandatory use of weighbridges to calculate leviable waste; and reviews of both the Waste Levy and the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007.
The Waste Authority noted an events calendar for 2021, including its own meeting dates, planned site visits and known events of interest during the year and considered the location and timing of a possible regional meeting of the Waste Authority in 2021, which may coincide with other events yet to be confirmed, such as the regional waste summit.
An update on the work underway to determine the quantities and types of e-waste in Western Australia was discussed. The outcomes of this work will assist in informing the state government’s decision to ban e-waste from being disposed of to landfill by 2024.
An update on the Western Australian Plan for Plastics (released in November 2020) and the National Plastic Plan 2021 (released on 4 March 2021) was also noted by the Waste Authority.
Following the meeting, Waste Authority members and senior staff from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation attended a site visit of Avertas Energy in Kwinana to view the progress of construction work. Avertas Energy aims to commence operations at the site by April 2022.
The next meeting of the Waste Authority will be held on 1 July 2021.