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Western Australians urged to reduce waste

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has today called for Western Australians to contribute to the development of the State Government’s new waste strategy.

The Government’s plan for a new waste strategy is open for public comment until March 1, 2018. The Waste Authority has prepared a paper to look at opportunities to improve WA’s waste and recycling performance which is lagging behind other Australian jurisdictions.

Three key objectives are proposed to minimise environmental risk, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, avoiding the generation of waste, and increasing recycling and recovery of valuable materials.

Launching the consultation paper at Perth’s Foodbank today, Mr Dawson urged every Western Australian – householders, industry and government – to act to reduce the amount of waste they generated and look at ways to recycle or reuse waste.

Foodbank – which accepts surplus food from companies – diverts thousands of tonnes of food from landfill to feed people in need. Last year, Foodbank distributed more than 3.1 million kilograms of donated food – supporting charities and feeding 94,000 people every month.

Food and other organic waste makes up about two thirds of the municipal solid waste stream. By avoiding food waste, companies and households can cut costs and reduce the pressure on landfill space.

In 2014-15, on average each Western Australian generated 2,623 kilograms of waste – the highest rate of waste generation in Australia per capita and 19 per cent above the national average.

The new strategy aims to bring WA’s waste generation in line with the national average, and new targets proposed in the consultation paper aim to recycle or recover 75 per cent of all waste by 2030.