Cheryl Edwardes

Cheryl Edwardes


    Zero Waste strategy makes Western Australia world leader : Minister

    10/01/2001 9:30 AM

    Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes today released Towards Zero Waste - a demanding strategy and action plan that establishes Western Australia as a world leader in waste management.

    “World wide there is strong support for the vision of zero waste but the Western Australian Government is among the first to commit to this challenging policy,” Mrs Edwardes said.

    “It is the only real option if we are to have an economy and society that is environmentally sustainable.

    “The strategy commits us all, the whole community of WA, to a vision of zero waste by 2020.

    “Already there are lots of people in the community and industry working to reduce their waste and who are committed to recycling. We want to build on that commitment by changing the system so zero waste is a natural way of life for everyone. In the end we won’t produce any waste for which we have no productive use.”

    The strategy and action plan are the work of the WAste 2020 Taskforce, set up by the Minister last April.

    The taskforce was chaired by Dr Ken Michael AM and included representatives from industry, local government and the Department of Environmental Protection.

    Dr Michael said there had been wide consultation throughout the State on the vision and strategy, with 15 seminars held from Esperance to Broome and over 40 written submissions received.

    “Once the vision was explained, people were generally very supportive,” Dr Michael said.

    “The vision implies a change of direction, a new way of thinking. That new way of thinking can be applied to all forms of waste - not just the domestic garbage bin.

    “The aim of preventing waste can apply just as much to water and electricity and we can create employment by finding smart ways of turning waste into resources.”

    The strategy recommends 43 key actions including increased support for waste education initiatives, researching and applying technological innovations, Cleaner Production and changes to packaging and management of wastes.

    At the top of the list of actions is the establishment of an independent Zero Waste Commission, resourced from the Waste Management and Recycling Fund, which is to be renamed the Zero Waste Trust.

    Mrs Edwardes said a dedicated, high-level working group would be formed to implement the key actions in the report until the Zero Waste Commission was formally in place.

    Further specific plans will be released soon with actions for the seven major waste streams of green and organic, commercial and industrial, construction and demolition, controlled waste (for example hazardous waste), municipal solid waste, packaging, and problematic waste (for example tyres).

    Media contact: Steve Manchee on 9421 7777