Cheryl Edwardes

Cheryl Edwardes


    New recycling scheme to encourage more local government waste reduction

    10/01/2001 1:26 PM

    Money from the Waste Management and Recycling Fund is to be directed to innovative resource recovery programs under a new Advisory Council on Waste Management (ACWM) scheme, Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes said.

    The Resource Recovery Rebate Scheme (RRRS) will draw on up to 50 per cent of funds from the Waste Management and Recycling Fund, which collects levies paid on waste to metropolitan landfill sites.

    Mrs Edwardes said the new RRRS scheme would replace the existing Municipal Recycling Scheme, and deliver a bigger reduction of waste to landfill.

    “The new scheme represents a change from thinking of waste as a problem to be managed, towards thinking of waste as a resource," she said.

    “The Resource Recovery Rebate Scheme is a new approach to supporting the waste reduction initiatives of local government.

    “It establishes a range of variable incentives, which increase according to the ability of the project to recover resources from the waste stream.

    “The objectives of the RRRS are to encourage the provision of services managed or delivered by local government that recover resources or reduce waste disposed to landfill.

    “The new scheme is quite different to the Municipal Recycling Services (MRS) scheme.

    “Under MRS, councils could apply every six months for a rebate based on the total amount of recycling that they have achieved. This was calculated at a fixed dollar per tonne rate, regardless of the effectiveness of the operation or the environmental benefits achieved.”

    The MRS is part of the Waste Management and Recycling Fund. The fund raises money through a landfill levy on all metropolitan landfill sites.

    Each year, about $4.8 million is raised from the levy and paid into the fund. The fund supports direct grants to the community, local government kerbside recycling schemes, public education programs, regional waste recycling, cleaner production, recycling industry development, and recycling and waste auditing programs.

    “While local government has made a valuable contribution to waste reduction, this new system will allow the community to achieve even greater rates of waste diversion in line with the goals set by Waste 2020,” Mrs Edwardes said.

    “Waste 2020 outlines secondary waste treatment processes as an important means of achieving significant rates of diversion of waste from landfill.

    “However, secondary waste treatment still suffers a cost disadvantage in comparison with low cost landfill in Western Australia. RRRS will go some way towards addressing this cost disadvantage.”

    The major regional groupings of local government are already moving towards secondary waste treatment.

    Southern Metropolitan Regional Council has already announced its facility at Canning Vale and Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council and Mindarie Regional Council are making significant investigations into other secondary waste treatment processes.

    “Local government is closely involved in the development of the details of the new scheme, which was recommended by the Advisory Council on Waste Management,” Mrs Edwardes said.

    Applications for the final round of the MRS scheme are due to close at the end of January.

    Media contact:
    Steve Manchee 9421 7777