Review of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030
The Waste Authority was pleased to see the release of a Directions Paper on 30 May 2023, setting out the key areas the Waste Authority proposes to focus on as part of the review of the Waste Strategy 2030. The review provides an opportunity to reflect on how the waste strategy is performing, what is working, and what it could do differently.
The Waste Authority encourages feedback on the Directions Paper by 5pm, Tuesday 11 July 2023. Details on providing feedback can be found on the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation website.
Input received through this consultation process will inform the development of the draft waste strategy, anticipated to be released in November 2023 for a 12-week consultation period.
Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sector engagement
The Directions Paper seeks input from the C&I sector to help identify key challenges and priorities for C&I waste and obtain feedback from the sector on what types of actions could best support increased recovery from the C&I sector. The Waste Authority noted that material recovery rates for the C&I sector is currently tracking short of waste strategy targets set for 2025 and 2030.
The Waste Authority discussed some of the complex challenges for the C&I sector, including data and the diverse range of activities that occurs within the sector, which includes retail and wholesale, hospitality and tourism, offices and the service sector, institutions (such as schools, health facilities and correctional institutions) and manufacturing and heavy industry.
Draft State Waste Infrastructure Plan
The Waste Authority acknowledged the close of the consultation period on the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s draft State Waste Infrastructure Plan on 23 June 2023.
The Waste Authority looks forward to reviewing feedback and seeing the implementation of this long-term information framework to help guide decision-making for the planning and development of waste infrastructure in Western Australia.
Announcement of landfill levy increase
On 26 May 2023, the Hon Reece Whitby MLA announced increases to the waste levy from $70 per tonne to $85 per tonne. These increases will come into effect from 1 July 2024.
The decision on the levy follows a review by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. A summary of the review can be found on the Department’s website. The Waste Authority noted that the Cook Government will consult later this year with businesses and the community on a proposal to expand the levy boundary into regional areas.
Environment Ministers’ Meeting outcomes
The Waste Authority noted with interest, the Agreed Communiqué from the recent Environment Minister’s Meeting (EMM) held on 9 June 2023. Members particularly noted the following key outcomes:
- The development of a new mandatory packaging regulatory scheme based on international best practice for packaging design to ensure packaging is designed to minimise waste and be recovered, reused, recycled and reprocessed. This will include regulating out harmful chemicals and other contaminants in packaging and a timeline set to remove contaminants from compostable food packaging.
- Western Australia’s role in leading the development of national principles for product stewardship for tyres for further consideration by Environment Ministers and the Commonwealth government.
Presentation by Tyre Stewardship Australia
The Waste Authority received a presentation from Tyre Stewardship Australia on tyre, conveyor and rubber track resource recovery in Australia. The presentation outlined the potential economic and environmental benefits for WA from improved recovery of end-of-life tyres.
Members noted that Western Australia produced a combined total of around 94,000 tonnes of passenger, bus, truck and off the road (OTR) end-of-life-tyres in 2021-22, with less than 50 per cent recovered, lower than the 65 per cent national recovery rate in 2021-22.
The Waste Authority noted with interest, successes in countries such as Canada, Denmark and France on the recovery of rubber including OTR tyres through regulated tyre recycling schemes. From 1 December 2023, New Zealand will also be regulating tyres imported into the country.
Better Bins Plus: Go FOGO Program
The Cook Government has a target for all local governments in the Perth and Peel regions to adopt FOGO by 2025. The service is currently being used by 17 Western Australian local governments, with a further 12 committed to making the transition. The Waste Authority is pleased to see some local governments achieving material recovery rates as high as 65 per cent.
FOGO Rollout Plans
The Waste Authority considered the FOGO Rollout Plan 2023-24 and the FOGO Rollout Plan 2022-23 report. The 2023-24 FOGO Rollout Plan retains themes from previous years and builds on work undertaken to date.
The 2022-23 FOGO Rollout Plan report shows good progress being made against each of the themes in the Rollout Plan – markets; education and engagement; local government services; and processing and foundation actions. The Waste Authority praised the efforts of the FOGO Reference Group (comprising of expertise from industry, local and state government) for its input into the development of the FOGO Rollout Plans.
Food Waste for Healthy Soils program
The Waste Authority was pleased to see the announcement of $11.25 million co-invested through the Commonwealth and Western Australian governments under Food Waste For Healthy Soils funding for three new organic recycling infrastructure projects that will divert up to 275,000 tonnes of WA’s FOGO waste from landfill each year and convert it into compost.
2021-22 Waste and Recycling Data
The Waste Authority received an update on the 2021-22 waste and recycling data report. The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Regulations 2008 require liable persons, including local governments, recyclers and large non-metropolitan landfills to report waste and recycling data annually to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
The collation and analysis of waste and recycling data for 2021-22 is now complete. The data will be published on the Waste Authority website, similar in format to previous years, following final desktop publishing and noting by the Minister for Environment.
Charitable Recyclers Rebate – Evaluation report
The Waste Authority considered the findings of an independent evaluation of the Charitable Recyclers Rebate and considered the Department’s response to the recommendations from the evaluation. The evaluation found that all the intended planned activities and outputs associated with the Charitable Recyclers Rebate since its inception in 2016 have been delivered.
The Department is undertaking further analysis of the recommendations and will report back to the Waste Authority’s Program Risk and Performance Committee at its next meeting.
The Waste Authority praised the significant contribution of charitable organisations in supporting delivery of WA Waste Strategy objectives.
Trash Talk Newsletter
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The next meeting of the Waste Authority will be held on 11 September 2023.