The Waste Authority received a presentation from the Waste and Recycling Industry of Western Australia (WRIWA) on challenges and opportunities relevant to its membership. The Waste Authority thanked WRIWA President, Mike Harper and Executive Officer, Michael Bobrowicz, along with WRIWA members for outlining their observations of the current Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 (the Waste Strategy) actions and targets.
The Waste Strategy will be reviewed during 2023 and the Waste Authority is committed to working with industry and other stakeholders as part of this review.
The Waste Authority recognises the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s (DWER’s) critical role in supporting the Waste Strategy through its regulatory functions. The Waste Authority considered and approved its submission to DWER on its Environmental Regulation Reform discussion paper: A strategic review of regulatory delivery and fees for industry regulation.
The Waste Authority received an update on the development of a State Waste Infrastructure Plan, which is a key commitment of the Waste Strategy. The Waste Authority noted that this work will be invaluable in informing the review of the Waste Strategy.
The Waste Authority received a presentation from the project team developing the Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategies (SERS). DWER is leading the development of Western Australian SERS to guide cost-effective emissions reductions and achieve Western Australia’s ambition for Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. SERS is a high priority cross-sector initiative requiring engagement with multiple portfolios, including energy, transport, mining, agriculture, land use planning and waste.
Further information regarding the development of the SERS can be found on DWER’s website.
The Waste Authority received an update on Stage 2 of Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics, which will see the phasing out of barrier bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging, microbeads, oxo-degradable plastics, takeaway coffee and soup cups/lids and polystyrene cups.
The Waste Authority acknowledged that plastic makes up a significant proportion of packaging materials in the waste stream. Disposal to landfill represents an economic loss, and inappropriate disposal into the environment through litter and dumping results in significant harm to the environment and wildlife. The Waste Authority was pleased to hear that Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics has again been rated the best jurisdiction in Australia in addressing problematic single-use plastics by WWF Australia in 2022 (following its recognition in 2021).
The Waste Authority was pleased to see the WasteSorted Schools program recently celebrate 20 years of supporting Western Australian schools, with over 956 schools participating in the program since it began.
Waste Authority Chair, Elizabeth Carr AM attended a special celebratory event in November 2022 to recognise the contribution of schools towards the success of the WasteSorted Schools program. The event was attended by students, teachers, principals and parents, local government waste educators and the Department of Education.
The WasteSorted Schools program has provided $2.6 million in grants to 542 schools over the past two decades. A copy of the Minister’s media statement regarding the latest grants provided to schools can be found here.
The Waste Authority was pleased to see the latest round of WasteSorted Community Education grants provided to Western Australian businesses, local governments and community groups, announced by the Minister recently. More than $7.5 million has been provided in grants since 2017 for projects which improve the recovery and reuse of materials, including plastics, construction and demolition waste, textiles and food organics and garden organics.
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. The Waste Authority noted that development of an E-waste Infrastructure Grants program is also underway, which will see funding provided to projects that support collection and recycling infrastructure to assist in the delivery of the ban. Consultation on the proposed approach to the ban is anticipated to commence shortly, with an extended consultation period to account for the holiday period.
The Chair of the Waste Authority’s Program Risk and Performance Committee (PRPC), Kaylene Gulich, provided an update to members on key outcomes of the recent meeting held on 8 November 2022. The PRPC provides oversight and guidance to the Waste Authority on risk management, program evaluation and financial reporting.
The Waste Authority was pleased to see the release of its 2021-22 Waste Authority Annual Report, following its tabling in Parliament in November 2022. The report, now available on the Waste Authority website, reflects progress made during 2021-22.
In relation to the 2021-22 Waste Authority Annual Report, Chair Elizabeth Carr AM paid tribute to the former Chair Waste Authority, Reg Howard-Smith and returning members, for their leadership and dedication in advancing the goals of the Waste Strategy 2030.
The next meeting of the Waste Authority will be held on 5 April 2023.