Hundreds of extra jobs will be created by a new State Government strategy designed to speed the introduction of recycling services and enlarge the number of companies using recycled materials.
Deputy Premier Ian Taylor made the announcement today when visiting the construction site of AMCOR Fibre Packaging's new $15 million plant which will be using recycled paper to produce cardboard boxes.
Mr Taylor said Government's initiative was being taken both to protect Western Australia's environment and give an added boost to the economy.
"We are tightening the schedules for the recycling of domestic and certain industrial waste to ensure about 500,000 tonnes of material is diverted away from landfills by 1995," he said.
"The State Government `Adding Value' program sets the blueprint for accelerated recycling in this State. The Government is joining with local government to participate in recycling and will offer financial assistance to establish kerb-side recycling for a wide range of materials.
"Households will benefit - they will have a financial incentive to participate as the more rubbish they recycle, the less rubbish collections will cost them.
"The new schedules will help innovative and progressive companies like AMCOR secure adequate supplies of material for recycling, so they have the ability to expand."
Mr Taylor said that until now the State Government had been aiming to recycle about one millions tonnes of material by the year 2000.
"It is important to realise that achieving these targets is not the responsibility of just one group," he said.
"We will need the full support of the public, local government and industry to speed up the process."
Mr Taylor said he expected the new strategy would lead to the creation of at least 350 jobs in the recycling services, and twice as many indirectly in other sectors.
"I am also sure that the enthusiasm with which the public is embracing recycling will give industry the confidence to bring forward their investment plans to establish new recycling ventures," he said.
"The new strategy will also put Western Australia ahead of all other States by establishing the first comprehensive list of target dates for recycling domestic and industrial waste," he said.
Mr Taylor said under the new schedule worked out with local government, the amount of waste materials now going to landfill would be cut by 25 per cent within three years.
The targets had been drawn up by the Recycling Blueprint Committee, which was responsible for preparing a comprehensive strategy for managing waste.
"Originally we had no plans for fixing such targets - other than an overall aim that by the year 2000 we would reduce by half the two million tonnes currently going to landfill," Mr Taylor said.
"But since releasing the draft recycling blueprint there has been an overwhelming public response, not only in support of the strategy but for initiatives that will ensure the strategy works.
"In fact, of the more than 500 public comments we received, there were many critical of those local councils which have yet to introduce comprehensive recycling services."
Mr Taylor said setting targets would enable the Government to focus in turn on each segment of the waste cycle and make sure any problems were being solved.
The full schedule of targets would be included in the final recycling blueprint due to be published in late February.
"The targets for 1995 assume that all households in the Perth metropolitan area will have access to kerb-side collection services and that all councils will have schemes in place that properly cost and charge for waste disposal," Mr Taylor said.
"The targets also assume that 50 per cent of workplaces in major commercial and industrial premises will have their own recycling services."
The reduction targets for 1995 adopt those which have already been set nationally, as well as establish targets in which Western Australia will be taking the initiative.
National reduction targets:
Plastic containers.......25 per cent
Glass....................45 per cent
Aluminium cans...........65 per cent
Steel cans...............25 per cent by 1996
Paperboard containers....20 per cent
Newsprint................40 per cent
Additional Western Australian reduction targets:
Building rubble..........25 per cent (now 11 per cent)
Garden waste.............20 per cent (now minimal)
Office paper.............50 per cent (now 33 per cent)
Clothing & textiles......55 per cent (now 45 per cent)
Cardboard................40 per cent (now 28 per cent)
Tyres....................50 per cent (now minimal)
(Figures in brackets indicate the amount of material currently recycled).