WA Recycling Rates Gradually on the Rise

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West Australians are recycling more and less waste is ending up at the tip, despite an increase in the State’s population, according to the latest recycling report.

Releasing the Recycling Activity in Western Australia 2012-13 report today, Environment Minister Albert Jacob said it showed a gradual improvement in recycling rates and a decrease in amount of waste being generated per person and ending up as landfill.

“The report shows recycling in the metropolitan household waste sector increased from 39 per cent to 45 per cent. This is an indication that State Government incentives for people to recycle – such as household hazardous waste collections and the deterrent of the land fill levy – are having a positive effect,” Mr Jacob said.

  • Recycling of metropolitan household waste increased from 39% to 45% between 2011-12 and 2013-14; 6% reduction in amount of waste sent to landfill
  • State-wide recycling rate increased only slightly from 39% to 40%

“There has also been a six per cent reduction in the tonnes of waste being sent to landfill between 2011-12 and 2012-13, an encouraging result given the State’s population has increased by two per cent over the same period. This translates as a drop from 1.6 tonnes of waste sent to landfill per person to 1.5 tonnes per person.”

The report also showed the amount of plastic material recycled increased by almost 1,400 tonnes, a 14 per cent increase between 2011-12 and 2012-13. Recycling of some of the most significant waste materials, construction and demolition waste, increased by more than 130,000 tonnes, a 12 per cent increase over the same period.

“However, it is disappointing that the overall recycling rate across WA has risen only slightly from 39 per cent to 40 per cent since 2011-12. Improving recycling rates in regional areas will remain a challenge, particularly given the sheer size of our State and small, isolated population centres. It is clear we still have a significant task ahead of us,” the Minister said.

“Increases to the landfill levy in metropolitan Perth, which will take effect from January next year, will help to further reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. The State Government’s Better Bins pilot program – which will provide local governments with grants to introduce a three bin system – is also expected to improve recycling rates.

“The aim is to achieve waste diversion targets of 50 per cent for the household waste sector, 55 per cent for the commercial and industrial waste sector and 60 per cent for the construction and demolition waste sector by mid-2015.”

Fact File

  • Current recycling rates are 45% for metropolitan household waste; 45% for commercial and industrial waste and 40% for construction and demolition waste
  • Report is an important tool to assess WA’s performance against targets set out in the State Government’s Waste Strategy; available at http://www.wasteauthority.wa.gov.au

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