David Templeman

David Templeman

Minister for the Environment; Climate Change; Peel

    WA's 'throwaway society' urged to clean up its act

    15/11/2007 11:00 AM

    Western Australians are being urged to combat climate change by recycling, and thinking twice before buying throwaway items to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill.

    During National Recycling Week this week, new waste legislation will be debated in State Parliament.

    Environment and Climate Change Minister David Templeman said that the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (WARR) Bill would provide a number of important new measures to help improve recycling in WA and promote the shift towards a waste-free society.

    “This is a very important step forward in dealing with waste and reducing greenhouse emissions in Western Australia, and I am confident the Bill will receive bipartisan support,” Mr Templeman said.

    The new legislation will allow for the establishment of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Schemes, where producers of consumer goods could be required to establish recycling programs for the goods they produce.

    The Minister said that in many cases, manufacturers were already acting to improve recycling through voluntary schemes, however, where products continued to present as problem wastes, a regulatory approach would be considered.

    One particular focus area for the State Government was construction and demolition waste, which was nearly all recyclable but still made up more than half (56 per cent) of landfill in the State.

    Mr Templeman said one company that had adopted the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility was Midland Brick, who through their brick recycling program, were acting to significantly reduce the amount of bricks going to landfill in WA.

    He said many people were not aware that bricks, pavers and other clay products could be recycled at Midland Brick’s centres in Middle Swan, Cannington, Jandakot, Osborne Park and Joondalup.

    “As this week is National Recycling Week, I’m urging individuals and businesses to think twice about dumping materials like bricks that could easily be recycled or used again,” he said.

    “Recycling is one of the most important tools in the fight against climate change and there is a lot that can be done at a community level to recycle.

    “Each time we recycle, we reduce material and energy use, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

    “For example, making an aluminium can from recycled material uses 95 per cent less energy than making one from raw materials and saves enough energy to run a TV set for three hours.”

    The Minister said recycling in WA was currently saving more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted every year.

    “This is equivalent to taking 168,000 cars off the road or planting 1,500,000 trees for the same CO2 benefit,” he said.

    “National Recycling Week serves as a timely reminder for all of us to consider actions we can take to conserve our natural resources and minimise the impact of our waste on the environment.

    “There are so many simple things people can do to at home, work or school to reduce the amount of waste produced including refusing to buy over-packaged products and buying products made from recycled material.”

    Further information about recycling is available at http://www.actnow.wa.gov.au.

    Minister's office: 9220 5050