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29 january 2021
Issue 2

In this issue:

Export Bans
The Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment is seeking feedback on a Discussion Paper on the export ban for waste plastics.
The new Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020 provides a framework to ban the export of waste paper, plastics, glass and tyres. From 1 January 2021, the export of waste glass was regulated. Rules for the export for waste plastics will be in force on 1 July.

The Department is seeking feedback on whether the approach for the Recycling and Waste Reduction (Export - Waste Glass) Rules 2020 would work for the draft rules to regulate the export of waste plastics. The Discussion Paper outlines the key issues the Department is considering for inclusion in the draft rules.

Comment on the Discussion Paper is anticipated to be the first step in the stakeholder consultation process for waste plastics. With more opportunities to comment on release of an exposure draft of the waste plastic rules and in a webinar roundtable in the first half of 2021.

The Department is seeking feedback by Monday, 8 February via email.
WALGA will be making a short Submission on the Discussion Paper. To contribute, please contact Rebecca Brown, Manager, Waste and Recycling or call 9213 2063.
Calling all Champions
The deadline for nominations for the 2021 WasteSorted Awards has been extended, and will now close at 5pm (WST) on Tuesday, 9 February.
The awards celebrate Western Australia’s waste champions and recognise innovative solutions to reduce waste and improve reuse and recycling. There are 10 categories which are open to individuals, business and industry, government, schools, community organisations, not-for-profits and the media.

Full detail, including criteria and entry forms, can be found on the Waste Authority website.
E-Waste Grants Announced!
Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly and Environment Minister Stephen Dawson announced the recipients of the WasteSorted e-Waste grants program.
The New Industries Fund has generously funded the e-Waste grants program, with $600,000 allocated to Curtin University, CSIRO and Epichem for research and development programs. This will support new and innovative solutions to process collected e-waste and reduce the amount of e-waste ending up in landfill.

Congratulations to Total Green Recycling, Marlpa Waste Logistics, Shire of East Pilbara, City of Rockingham and the City of Bunbury who will also be provided funding to increase e-waste recycling. 

WALGA has also been awarded an $80,000 grant to deliver e-waste temporary collection events in the Non-Metropolitan area over the next 2 years.  If your Local Government put in an EoI to host an event WALGA will be in contact in the coming weeks.

To see the full media release, please click here.
For more information about the grants, please visit the Waste Authority website.
Paintback Levy Extension
Paintback Limited on behalf of itself and participating paint suppliers, is seeking reauthorisation for the Paintback Scheme.
The ACCC previously granted authorisation to Paintback Limited and participating paint suppliers to impose a $0.15 per litre levy to the cost of certain architectural and design paints, and woodcare products to fund the Paintback Scheme which includes its collection and disposal activities. The current authorisation expires on 1 June 2021. Paintback Limited is seeking a new authorisation for an additional 10 years, commencing at the conclusion of the current authorisation.

Paint collections and recycling are now funded by the Paintback Scheme for 10 of the 14 Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program permanent sites. This has led to significant savings and has enabled the Program to undertake a number of Temporary Collection Day events across the State and to add new permanent HHW sites to the Program.

The Paintback Limited Scheme has provided considerable community and environmental benefit, having diverted 1,832,799kg of paint products from WA landfills between 2015/16 to 2019/20. WALGA has made a short Submission in support of the levy extension.
The ACCC invites submissions from interested parties. Submissions close Friday, 5 February 2021. For more information, visit the ACCC website.
The EP Act is a Changing
The changed to the Environmental Protection Act (EP Act) relating to prescribed activities (previously prescribed premises) are potentially significant for Local Government.
The changes to the EP Act indicate that carrying out a prescribed activity is an offence unless you have a Licence under the Act. The way the EP Act was previously worded meant that there was not a requirement for a Licence, instead a Licence was a protection against prosecution for pollution. 

Local Governments should ensure that any activities that they are undertaking, which are identified under Schedule 1 of the EP Act and exceed the design capacity listed, have the appropriate licence (e.g. Transfer stations). These amendment to the Act also mean that there is another avenue for enforcement actions against activities like small scale illegal landfilling and skip bin operations. These types of operation have been difficult to address in the past, as the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation had to prove environmental harm through a prosecution. The Discussion Paper, which informed the changes to the Act, flagged the need for consequential amendments to Schedule 1 of the EP Act Regulations regarding Prescribed Premises (to become prescribed activities).  

If Local Governments have submitted works approvals/licence amendments (prior to the Act change), the Act changes allows for these to progress.  All works approvals and licences which were in place prior to the Acts commencement also continue.

The changes to the Act also grant the Director General (CEO) of DWER additional powers in relation to licences. The CEO can now have regard to “any development approval or planning instrument that the CEO considers relevant”. This is an important clarification, as it negates the situation where the CEO could approve a Licence for something which has been refused by a Local Government planning approval. The CEO can also now take into account “any other matter the CEO considers relevant” in the decision to grant a licence. WALGA has been advocating that in granting licences it is important that the CEO can refuse a license application if a proposed facility will undermine Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy outcomes and targets.
For more information, please contact Rebecca Brown, Manager Waste and Recycling, or call 9213 2063.
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
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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