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MWAC Information Bulletin
4 July 2014
Issue 191

In this issue...

Events: Submissions:
  • Friday, 4 July - IPART Reform Licencing in NSW Report
  • Sunday, 13 July - Infinity Awards
  • Friday, 1 August - Draft Guidance Note on the Management of Fire Damaged Asbestos

Levy Rationale Released
Department of Environment Regulation (DER) and the Waste Authority have released the Report which provides insight into the rationale for the Levy.
The Report, Economic Drivers of Waste, recognises the impact to the Levy and other factors on the rate of waste to landfill.
The Report is available from the Waste Authority website.
Discussing – Product Stewardship
WALGA has developed a Discussion Paper that details different Product Stewardship Scheme structures, identifies and evaluates current Schemes and characterises the attributes of a successful Scheme.
The Discussion Paper is intended to start a conversation on the way Product Stewardship has developed in Australia. The majority of Schemes are operating on a voluntary basis, predominately focusing on end-of-life considerations. 

A key finding of the Paper is that there is a mismatch between industry and Local Governments expectations of how Product Stewardship Schemes should be designed, and what type of outcomes they should deliver. To clarify, Local Governments are interested in activities that directly intervene, providing improved market outlets for materials and ultimately, reduced costs. Industry is driven by other factors when pursuing Product Stewardship, such as the triple bottom line, and the impact of government intervention on business activities.

When engaging with industry and government in the development of Product Stewardship Schemes, Local Government needs to have a clear position on what outcomes are necessary for a Scheme to be supported.
The Discussion Paper on Australian Product Stewardship Schemes is available from the WasteNet website.
Plastic Free Launch
Join the WMRC Earth Carers as they launch Plastic Free July 2014 at the Subiaco Farmers markets this Saturday, 5 July from 8:00am.
Perth Wholefood Chef Jude Blereau will be running a cooking demo and visit the Earth Carers stall for information, activities, workshops and pledges.

Plastic Free July is an annual challenge to refuse single use plastics, such as straws, plastic bags, cling wrap and plastic packaging.
Visit the Plastic Free July website for tips on living plastic-free, including shopping, storing food and eating out.
Marine Oil Pollution (MOP) Guidelines
The Department of Transport has recently released the WA Marine Oil Pollution (MOP) Waste Management Guidelines.
The Guidelines will be of particular interest to coastal Local Governments, and details practices and principles that will guide the Department in developing site specific, operational, waste management plans during a Marine Oil Pollution (MOP) emergency.

The Department is keen to work with Local Governments, to develop regional MOP waste management plans that increase the overall level of preparedness for such an emergency event.

The Guidelines are available from the Department of Transport website.
For more information, email Department of Transport, Environmental Officer - Oil Spill Response Coordination Unit Emily Wood or call 9435 7704.
What’s Old is New Again
The Minister for the Environment has released the classes of products which will be considered  for some form of accreditation or regulation under the Product Stewardship Act 2011.
These products have not changed from the previous year’s list.

The list provides some certainty to the community and businesses about what is being considered for coverage under the Act.

The products included on the list are:
  • Waste architectural and decorative paint;
  • End-of-life batteries (less than 5kg in weight);
  • Packaging (and subsets of packaging, such as consumer packaging and beverage packaging);
  • End-of-life air conditioners with small gas charges; and
  • End-of-life refrigerators with small gas charges.
For more information, visit the Department of the Environment website.
Asbestos Management
The Department of Health (DoH) has released a draft guidance note on managing asbestos contamination as the result of fire.
The document, Draft Guidance Note on the Management of Fire Damaged Asbestos, is primarily aimed at Local Government environmental health officers and asbestos professionals including asbestos assessors, removalists and environmental consultants. It may also be of interest to some state government agencies.

DoH is inviting comment on the draft guidance note and submissions close on Friday, 1 August.
The Draft Guidance Note is available from the Department of Health website under the Fact Sheets heading.
According to a preliminary report the recycling rate for handheld batteries in Australia is 2.7%.
The report, ‘Study into market share and stocks and flows of handheld batteries in Australia’, was prepared by consultants for the Australian government and state and territory governments. It was undertaken to inform discussions on the development of a national stewardship scheme.

Sales of all handheld batteries weighing less than 5kg totalled approximately 400 million units in 2012-13.

An estimated 14,703 tonnes of batteries were disposed of in 2012-13. Of this, only 403 tonnes of batteries were collected for recycling.
The full report on the study will be published next month. For more information visit Battery Recycling.
Explosive Renovations
Police have concluded an investigation into what was believed to be a World War II-era bomb found in landfill at Bullsbrook.
Defence personnel from the Explosive Ordinance Team, who were assisting police with their investigations, found it contained no explosive material.

A Defence spokesman said the Mark 14 Sea Mine, most commonly used in World War II, was taken from a house being demolished in the area to the landfill site. “I would say given what I’ve been told and the look of it from the picture it’s pretty well suspected to be innocuous,” he said.

WA Police had cordoned off the area and evacuated the work site as a precaution.

The spokesman warned the members of the public who found suspicious military objects not to touch them and to report their location to police.
The Municipal Waste Advisory Council (MWAC) is a standing committee of WALGA with delegated authority on municipal waste issues. MWAC's membership includes the major Regional Councils (waste management), making MWAC a unique forum through which all the major Local Government waste management organisations cooperate.
MWAC members are:
ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade,
West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
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