The Waste Authority received a presentation from the Chair of the South West Sustainability Waste Alliance (SWA), Andonis Missikos on the Bunbury Outer Ring Road (BORR) project. The Southwest Connex consortium has recently been named as the preferred proponent to design and construct the $852 million BORR project, making it the largest regional infrastructure project ever undertaken in Western Australia. The project, being delivered by Main Roads WA and the Office of Major Transport Infrastructure Delivery (OMTID), is supported by the SWA to help drive the greater use of recycled material, encourage innovation and develop demand for key focus materials consistent with the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030.
The Waste Authority considered and approved its draft 2019-20 Waste Authority Annual Report. The 2019-20 Annual Report will be available on the Waste Authority website following its tabling in Parliament, expected to be in mid-November 2020.
A 2019-20 Waste Authority Annual Review and Outcomes report, prepared for the Minister for Environment was considered and approved by the Waste Authority. The report is provided to the Minister each year as part of the Ministerial Statement of Expectation for the Waste Authority and the Waste Authority’s Statement of Intent.
The Waste Authority discussed the future of the bin tagging program which is recognised as contributing to positive waste sorting behaviours. Discussions are continuing with the Western Australian Local Government Association for this important program.
The Waste Authority also discussed the range of applications received from local governments for the 2020-21 Better Bins Plus: Go FOGO program and was pleased with the level of interest shown by those local governments seeking to transition to FOGO services in the near future and others seeking to optimise existing FOGO services. Department of Water and Environmental Regulation staff from the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Division are currently liaising with local governments in relation to their applications.
An application to assist battery recycling opportunities to support the State Government’s Future Battery Industry Strategy and related commitments was approved by the Waste Authority. The project will assist in identifying local recycling opportunities which may arise through the delivery of the proposed national product stewardship scheme for batteries; inform e-waste research planned; and support related commitments in the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Action Plan 2030.
The Waste Authority noted the completion of the Waste Wise Schools (WWS) review undertaken in line with the Evaluation Framework for the Waste Strategy 2030 and lessons learned from the process that can be applied to future program evaluations.
The Waste Authority were pleased to note that the Waste Wise Schools program will support the Western Australian Museum’s education programming by providing links to relevant existing teacher resources and student activities that will provide an extended user experience. The new Museum, due to open in November 2020, will include innovative new exhibitions featuring authentic objects and new interactive and multi-media experiences.
The Waste Authority noted an update on soft plastics recycling in Western Australia via the REDcycle program. The REDcycle program has recovered 670 tonnes of material from Western Australia in total, with 424 tonnes being recovered during the 2019-20 financial year. The REDcycle program currently operates in 203 Coles and Woolworths supermarkets in WA.
An update on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) waste export ban, including funding and proposed Commonwealth legislation was noted by members.
Following its meeting in Bunbury, Waste Authority members greatly valued the opportunity to visit local waste management and recycling facilities including the Bunbury Harvey Regional Council’s Stanley Road Waste Management Facility; the Wellington Group Organics Processing Facility; and the Shire of Dardanup’s Waste Transfer Station and Recycling Centre. The Waste Authority extends its sincere appreciation to Bunbury Harvey Regional Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Tony Battersby and the Shire of Dardanup’s Manager Operations, Sergio Massimini for making these tours possible. Some photos of the visit are shared here.
The next meeting of the Waste Authority will be held on 14 October 2020.