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Councils defy fall in recycling

THE Cities of Swan, Kalamunda and the Shire Of Mundaring are all successfully bucking a disturbing recent trend of declining recycling rates in the municipal waste sector.

According to several recently released state government reports the overall municipal waste recycling rates have dropped to 36 per cent in the Perth metropolitan region, a rate far below the WA target of 50 per cent in the period from 2015-2016.

Despite the significant decrease the Swan, Kalamunda and Mundaring local governments have outperformed many other councils within the metro area.

City of Swan chief executive officer Mike Foley said over the past three years, the city’s overall recycling rate has remained steady, while their kerbside house bin recycling volume had increased.

“The City of Swan monitors recycling rates on a monthly basis and is always looking at ways it can be improved,” he said.

“During the 2016-17 financial year the City improved its bulk verge collection recycling rate from seven per cent in 2015-16 to 12 per cent in 2016-17.”

Mr Foley said the city had put in place a number of programs that continue to improve its rate of recycling.

There are nine recyclable goods drop-off days during the year and residents receive free mulch from the council’s green waste collections and street prunings, easing the burden on landfill.

The initiative has helped the council stop these items from going into landfill and instead be recycled.

During the last financial year, the city managed to divert 17,753.40 tonnes from landfill and in 2015-2016 their efforts prevented another 17,241 tonnes of waste materials from being disposed of in landfill.

According to Mr Foley they are also working closely with the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council to manage waste and run a series of joint education programs and recycling initiatives.

The City of Kalamunda have also developed several successful recycling programs which according to its chief executive officer Rhonda Hardy has resulted in the city improving its municipal recycling rates in 2015-2016.

The city’s recovery rate for domestic waste dropped off and disposed of at the Walliston Transfer Station in 2015 was 55 per cent and this rate increased again to 83 per cent in 2016.

Ms Hardy said the transfer station’s success contributed significantly to the city’s high recovery rate with the overall waste and recycling recovery for domestic premises through the use of recycling bins reaching 41 per cent during this period.

She said the city is a strong advocate of reuse programs such as the Garage Sale Trail, offers free access to the Walliston Transfer Station and provides recycling bins at various locations and free skip bins for recycling of materials.

The Shire of Mundaring have also made significant progress lifting its waste recycling levels from around 40 per cent in the early 2000s to 50 per cent, according to chief excutive officer Jonathan Throssel.

By Andrew Carter

About Andrew Carter

I live locally in Ellenbrook and have now lived there for well over a decade. I’m a passionate and conscientious journalist and I enjoy using my colourful, lively style of writing to hopefully paint a verbal picture. I am environmentally minded and believe that it’s our responsibility in the media to report accurately, help make a difference to the community and if necessary to hold businesses, governments and individuals to account for their actions. I very much aspire to the Christiane Amanpour style of journalism of being truthful not neutral.

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