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23 april 2021
Issue 8

In this issue:

LG Focus: Bright Sun, Big Smiles
With stunning weather and beaming smiles, the Augusta-Margaret River drop-off event for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and e-waste on Saturday, 10 April was a resounding success.
The event saw 320 locals attend on foot, bicycle and car to drop off more than 4 tonnes of HHW and nearly 3.5 tonnes of e-waste. Most of the collected materials will be recycled, recovered or re-used in Australia, diverting them from landfill.

The main types of HHW collected were paint, gas cylinders, pesticides, household chemicals and batteries. The e-waste collected varied from solar panels and electric scooters to VHS players, electric toys and everything in between.

The event was made possible with funding that is administered by the Waste Authority on behalf of the Government of Western Australia. The e-waste portion of the event was funded through the New Industries Fund which is managed by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

For more information, email Tazra Hawkins, HHW Coordinator or call on (08) 9213 2062.
Get Your Grant On
Applications are open for the Keep Australia Beautiful Council 2021 Community Litter Grants Program.
Community groups, schools, small to medium-sized enterprises, and Local Governments can apply for grants of up to $10,000 for major initiatives or regional projects, or $5000 for local area projects.

The grants support projects and initiatives that focus on changing littering behaviour. Successful projects will help reduce litter at events, sporting and recreation venues, roadsides, waterways, and shopping and commercial precincts. They will also target the incorrect disposal of cigarette butts and takeaway food containers.

Applications for Community Litter Grants close at 12:00pm on Friday, 28 May.

For application guidelines and more information on the program, visit the Keep Australia Beautiful Council WA website.
Containers for Change Off to a Roaring Start in WA!
Over 283 million containers have been returned across WA since the launch of Containers for Change on Thursday, 1 October 2020.
Many West Australians have chosen to use Containers for Change as a way to give back to their community, by donating their refunds to local charities and community groups. More than $1.2 million has been donated to 3000 charities and community groups, including hundreds of schools and local sporting organisations.

The scheme has also increased the recycling rate in Western Australia, and diverted tonnes of recyclable material from landfill. Over 11,000 tonnes of glass, 970 tonnes of aluminium and 258 tonnes of plastic has been sent to recyclers to date.
More information about the scheme can be found on the Containers for Change WA website.
Environment Ministers’ Meeting
A virtual meeting of the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and the environment ministers from all States and Territories has focussed on national environmental priorities including the implementation of the National Waste Policy Action Plan.
The Environment Ministers agreed to work collaboratively to improve the harmonisation of municipal waste collection, taking the first step within each state through the implementation of standards within each jurisdiction for kerbside recycling, and a national implementation road map that considers costs and benefits.

The Ministers agreed in principle to support a roll out of Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) waste collection services in partnership with the Commonwealth to address current gaps in waste collection streams.

For Container Deposit Schemes, Ministers also agreed to harmonisation for the containers (size and products) across jurisdictions, refund amounts, standards for labelling, and community education by the end of 2025, ensuring consistent recycling collection strategies across all States.
The Environment Ministers’ Meeting communique is available here.
Making Fuel, Food and Cosmetics from Fire Waste
New research shows how microalgae can turn fire extinguisher powder waste into high-value bio products.
Australia generates over 10,000 tonnes of fire extinguisher powder waste each year. This material includes significant amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus that can be reused. Researchers have shown how fire extinguisher waste can be used to feed microalgae, which can turn the waste into high-value products like fuels, cosmetics, fertilisers and animal feed.

Another major benefit of treating fire extinguisher waste with microalgae is carbon capture. As microalgae absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, the process presents an opportunity for carbon-neutral fuel production. The oil from microalgae can be extracted to produce biodiesel or bioethanol, reducing carbon emissions from fuel production by about 78%. The spent or ‘de-oiled’ microalgae can be used for feed or to produce biogas to power the refinery that’s producing the fuel.

Image Credit: Harry Butler Institute.
For more information on the exciting research being carried out, visit the Harry Butler Institute website.
Did you know there is a Municipal Waste Advisory Council?
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:
Waste is the Word
Want to share your waste management successes, promote a new project, have a key question answered or collaborate with other Local Governments? We want to include your waste management issues in our next newsletter.

Please submit your content to the WALGA Waste Team.
WALGA operates prequalified supply contracts to access goods and services at market preferential rates. We have Preferred Supplier arrangements in place for a range of Waste Management, Parks and Gardens, and Environmental services to support service deliver and sustainability within the sector.

Further information is available from the WALGA website
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West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
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