GreenYes Archives
[GreenYes Archives] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]

[greenyes] Fwd: Western Australia adopts Zero Waste goal!

From: "Mary Jean O'Donnell" <zerowaste@no.address>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 14:09:24 -0700
Mary Jean O'Donnell, Principal
MJ Waste Solutions
Box 57102-2480 East Hastings
Vancouver, BC V5K 5G6
cell: 604.202.1066

Dear Colleague,

Australia - Governance for Regional Sustainability: The Western Australia approach
WA administration launches sustainability strategy

In a special address to open the International Sustainability Conference in Fremantle, Australia, the Premier Dr Geoff Gallop outlined his vision of Governance for sustainability and took the opportunity to launch Hope for the Future: State Sustainability Strategy for Western Australia.

The Premier spoke about the wide range of initiatives that the State Government will be introducing to implement the Strategy, including the enacting of the first Sustainability Act in Australian history.

Among the terrirory's plans to enhance our quality of life are:
* develop a Strategic Framework for Waste Management, including detailed plans for each waste stream (including hazardous waste), towards zero waste by 2020.
* demonstrate the Sustainability Scorecard approach to development control to encourage thermal efficiency, solar orientation, accessible design, affordable housing and other sustainable building practices in new and renovated homes.
* support communities to fully participate in achieving a sustainable future
Government will take an active role in stimulating the development of markets for recycled materials through its own purchasing requirements as outlined in Embracing sustainability in government agencies.

In order to implement strategic directions for waste, the Western Australian Government has developed a model to achieve zero waste. This has been designed to aid decision-making and illustrate the thinking required to implement the waste management hierarchy.

The application of the model is built on a cycle of continual improvement and will require the commitment and participation of all stakeholders to:
* prevent the generation of waste
* maximise recovery and recycling of resources from waste
* analyse the residual waste stream and make improvements to move toward zero waste by 2020
The Waste 2020 Strategy identified the need to establish an effective structure to coordinate the implementation of the toward zero waste vision. The government established the Waste Management Board to undertake this role.
The future direction of waste management as described by the 'zero waste' model will utilise the waste management hierarchy as a decision support tool and product life cycle management to help guide product design. Both social and intergenerational equity issues need to be addressed by ensuring all waste is managed in time and space as close to the point of generation as possible.

Specific issues such as converting waste to energy, should only be considered after all other alternate strategies, consistent with the waste management hierarchy, have been considered.

The community is more aware of the negative impact wastes have on our quality of life, especially since the Bellevue chemical fire in February 2001. As a result, technologies for treating and storing wastes and the location of waste facilities have been of great concern to many in the community, leading to demands for preventative strategies to minimise wastes and particularly those that can enable the elimination of hazardous wastes. The government has made a number of commitments over time that has led to a policy of containing the nuclear industry with its hazardous wastes.

A Resource Recovery and Waste Avoidance Bill will be drafted containing modern provisions for achieving world best practice in the sustainable minimisation and management of waste and resource consumption. This Bill will ensure a coordinated approach across the State to maximise the recovery of waste resources, and will begin to establish requirements for extended producer responsibility of materials and wastes.

There is a need for consumers and producers to become more responsible for the life cycle of products and services. One key mechanism developing overseas for closing the loop is through requirements to extend a producer's responsibility beyond the point of sale of a product. This means that a producer is responsible for their products throughout their life cycle, which has led to advancements in design. A policy position paper will be developed on the application of extended producer responsibility in Western Australia.

At a national level a voluntary National Packaging Covenant has been established to reduce the amount of packaging being consumed in Australia. The Western Australian Government has prepared an Action Plan to implement the Covenant and will introduce the necessary regulations under the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

Summary of the sustainability strategy concerning waste & resources

Vision - Toward zero waste by 2020.

* manufacturing and other industrial processes are operated in a sustainable manner that minimises the quantity of wastes produced
* products and services are designed and/or packaged to minimise waste and facilitate re-use and resource recovery
* information and data on waste generation are continuously collected, analysed and reported
* all wastes are segregated and sorted close to source in a manner that optimises resource recovery for higher end-uses.
* hazardous components in goods and services are replaced to increase resource recovery options
* comprehensive suites of treatment facilities are established which maximise resource recovery
* residual waste streams are continuously assessed and actions taken to enhance recovery
* a community that understands the impact of purchasing choices and actively participates in waste reduction and recycling activities
Actions underway
* implementing the Waste 2020 Strategy
* establishing the Waste Management Board
* developing a whole of government procurement policy for waste paper recycling
* conducting research on solid waste management through the waste levy
* conducting the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Bellevue Chemical Fire and acting upon its recommendations, including initiating a comprehensive review into hazardous waste management in Western Australia
* establishment of the National Packaging Covenant program and regulations
* survey and review into hazardous waste generation
* Finalise the Strategic Framework for Waste Management to guide the management of waste in Western Australia towards zero waste by 2020 and liaise with stakeholders and the community on the implementation of the Framework.
* Recognise the success of those individuals, innovators, industries and councils who are successfully implementing a Zero Waste Framework.
* Introduce and enact the Resource Recovery and Waste Avoidance Bill.
* Enact the Contaminated Sites Bill.
* Prepare detailed business plans to support and prioritise the strategic activities to support the goal of moving towards zero waste by 2020.
* Encourage all government agencies to reduce consumption and waste by undertaking a comprehensive audit of resource consumption and waste and setting targets for reductions as part of their Sustainability Action Plans.
* Encourage the use of recycled products by all government agencies through the Government's Sustainability Procurement Policy.
* Encourage recycling of paper, glass, plastics, metals and organic waste using the Sustainability Code of Practice for government agencies.
* Work with local governments to expand the scope of their waste management plans to be consistent with the Strategic Framework for Waste Management, and support markets for recovered materials through the use of the Sustainability Scorecard in development applications involving construction and demolition waste.
* Examine how the landfill levy can better reflect environmental and social costs of waste disposal.
* Set mandatory hazardous waste targets for industry and target cleaner production programs towards industries producing hazardous waste so that a plan can be created for zero hazardous waste by 2020.
* Develop policies and legislation to encourage or require producers of hazardous and problematic wastes to share the responsibility for managing and reducing these wastes until they are phased out by 2020.
* Actively engage the community to determine appropriate siting and establishment of industrial/hazardous waste precincts for the metropolitan region until such waste is phased out by 2020.
* Ensure appropriate regulations exist to effect the safe transportation, storage and disposal of hazardous and controlled wastes in the period leading to the phase out of such wastes.
* Develop a comprehensive and clear waste classification and recording system for all wastes across Western Australia.
* Develop and report effective indicators to measure progress toward zero waste for each sector of society, including industry, community and government.

Copies of the strategy document are available from WA's website at:


Be warned, the report is big; more than 8 MB. I can email you a copy if your system can accommodate it.

With best wishes,



Resource Recovery Forum, 1st Floor, The British School
Otley Street. Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 1EP. UK
Secretary: Kit Strange

Tel: +44 (0) 1756 709 808
Fax: +44 (0) 1756 709 801
Email: rrf@no.address

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

[GreenYes Archives] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]