The state government will focus on improving waste recovery rates from the construction, demolition and industrial sectors to achieve "ambitious" targets in its new waste strategy, but has no plans to lift its landfill levy.
Environment minister Bill Marmion launched the strategy this morning in conjunction with the chairman of the Waste Authority Peter Fitzpatrick.
It updates targets set out in the authority’s draft strategies, which were initially published in 2009 and 2010.
The new targets include increasing the amount of municipal waste diverted from landfill into recycling and reuse to 50 per cent by June 2015 and 65 per cent by 2020. The Perth metropolitan region’s recovery rate was 36 per cent over 2009/10.
Major regional centres will be expected to achieve 50 per cent diversion rates by 2020.
Meanwhile, the construction and demolition sector has been charged with a target of diverting 60 per cent of its waste by 2015. This is expected to increase to 75 per cent by 2020. It was 29 per cent in 2009/10.
The commercial and industrial sectors will have to achieve a diversion rate of 70 per cent by 2020 – up from 46 per cent in 2009/10.
Mr Marmion said reducing the amount of waste from commercial and industrial and construction and demolition was the primary focus of the strategy, as that represented three quarters of waste sent to landfill in WA.
He said the recovery rate targets were “ambitious, but achievable”.
The strategy also sets out five key objectives, which include an assessment of the relationship between increased landfill costs and reductions in landfill to determine landfill levies.
Peter Fitzpatrick said the authority was working on new business plans which are based on a range of potential levy increases. But Mr Marmion said there was no immediate plan to increase the levies.
“We will try and use education as one of the strategies (to reduce waste to landfill), but of course there are the incentives, and one of the options is the levies – but at this stage there is no intention to bring it up at the moment.”
The strategy also plans to use funds from the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account, which is funded by landfill levies, to establish a dedicated inspection and compliance team.