A government commissioned consultation paper into opportunities to improve WA’s waste and recycling performance, prepared by the Waste Authority, was launched at Perth’s Foodbank today.
Western Australia is currently lagging behind the other states in the country, which is why Environment Minister Stephen Dawson used this opportunity to call on the community to reduce their waste.
“Reducing the amount of waste disposed of to landfill can generate significant economic opportunities for the Western Australian community – for every 10,000 tonnes of waste recycled, 9.2 full-time equivalent jobs are created compared to only 2.8 jobs when waste is sent to landfill,” he said.
In 2014-15, each Western Australian created an average of 2,623 kilograms of waste — the highest rate of waste generation in the country per capita and 19 per cent above the national average.
The three key objectives proposed in the consultation paper aim to minimise environmental risk by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, avoiding the generation of waste and increasing recycling and recovery of valuable materials.
Mr Dawson said this initiative shows the State Government is serious about reducing waste.
“The Waste Authority’s review of the waste strategy provides an opportunity for all of us to work together to improve environmental outcomes, create employment and build businesses,” he said.
Foodbank diverts thousands of tonnes of food from landfill, by accepting surplus food from companies to feed people in need.
Last year they distributed more than 3.1 million kilograms of donated food, by supporting charities and feeding over 94,000 people every month.
Food and other organic waste make up almost two-thirds of the municipal solid waste stream. By avoiding food waste, companies and households can cut costs and reduce pressure on landfill space.
The McGowan Government’s waste strategy aims to bring WA’s waste generation in line with the national average. New targets proposed in the consultation paper aim to recycle or recover 75 per cent of all waste by 2030.
The strategy is open for public comment until March 1, 2018.