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Environment Minister Stephen Dawson and Foodbank chief executive officer Greg Hebble at the launch of a new waste strategy.

Comment sought on waste strategy

EASTERN suburbs residents can comment on the state government’s plan for a new waste strategy to improve WA’s waste and recycling performance.

The Waste Authority has prepared a paper with key objectives proposed to improve WA’s waste and recycling performance which is lagging behind other Australian jurisdictions.

The three key objectives are proposed to minimise environmental risk, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, avoiding the generation of waste, and increasing recycling and recovery of valuable materials.

Launching the consultation paper at Perth’s Foodbank Environment Minister Stephen Dawson urged householders, industry and government to act to reduce the amount of waste generated and to look at ways to recycle or reuse waste.

Foodbank, which accepts surplus food from companies, diverts thousands of tonnes of food from landfill to feed people in need.

Last year, Foodbank distributed more than 3.1 million kilograms of donated food supporting charities and feeding 94,000 people every month.

Food and other organic waste makes up about two thirds of the municipal solid waste stream.

By avoiding food waste, companies and households can cut costs and reduce the pressure on landfill space.

In 2014-15, on average each Western Australian generated 2623kg of waste – the highest rate of waste generation in Australia per capita and 19 per cent above the national average.

The new strategy aims to bring WA’s waste generation in line with the national average, and new targets proposed in the consultation paper aim to recycle or recover 75 per cent of all waste by 2030.

Mr Dawson said the government had already demonstrated its commitment to reducing waste, introducing a number of strategic waste reforms including the introduction of a container deposit scheme and a ban on lightweight single-use plastic bags.

He said the Waste Authority’s review of the waste strategy provided an opportunity for everyone to work together to improve environmental outcomes, create employment and build businesses.

“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.”

The government’s plan for a new waste strategy is open for public comment until March 1, 2018.

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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