Low recycling in WA

By Lilia Guan

The West Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) believes data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Report into the waste industry, showed WA as having one of the lowest recycling rates in the nation.
According to WALGA this could point to “ineffective use of funds” being collected through the state government’s landfill levy.
The levy was increased by 300 percent in 2009, with the majority of funds received allocated to general expenditure budgets instead of the previous system whereby all funds collected were used for waste reduction initiatives.
WALGA President Mayor Troy Pickard called for a return to the previous system.
He said WA’s low recycling rate and significant waste management challenges needed urgent attention.
“There are a great number of initiatives which could be implemented should these funds be invested back into waste infrastructure, research and education, all of which are urgently needed,” Mayor Pickard said.
While the sector welcomed the recent announcement for an allocation of $7 million over five years to assist Local Governments with implementing Strategic Waste Management Plans.
“We have presented the Minister with a range of areas that need support which could potentially be funded through monies raised from the landfill levy,” Mayor Pickard said.
“Initiatives include the development of local markets and infrastructure for recycled materials, a needs analysis to address illegal dumping and a campaign to increase recycling rates.”
He believed particularly important was funding for alternative waste treatment technologies, which divert waste from landfill and turn it into products such as compost which can improve our sandy soils.”
Mayor Pickard expressed Local Government’s support for a Container Deposit System for Western Australia as one avenue by which to help reduce litter and increase recycling rates.
“We encourage the State Government to urgently reconsider the allocation of the funds raised through the landfill levy and redirect them to crucial waste management initiatives,” he said.

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One thought on “Low recycling in WA

  1. i am very aware of the waste I create and to me this carries a significant degree of environmental guilt. While this encourages me to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ i have heard from several sources that in WA we actually use very little of the waste from recycling bins in actual recycling – that most of it goes to landfill. I also hear that this is a bit of a secret – perhaps if it were less of a secret people would begin to show more preference to WA manufacturers that used our recyclable materials? I am sick of beng treated like an idiot – if people arent told the truth how the hell are they supposed to ensure their opinions and values are expressed through local (and federal!) Government initiatives!!!!

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