Environment Minister Bill Marmion has and allocated $17.2 million to the Waste Authority for the first year of a proposal designed to improve recycling rates.
The Authority has committed to diverting 50 per cent of metropolitan municipal waste from landfill by 2014/15 – the current rate of diversion is 31 per cent.
In regional centres this is expected to lift from a rate of 19 per cent to 30 per cent.
State-wide commercial and industrial diversion rates are expected to improve from 32 per cent to 55 per cent within three years.
To help achieve that the Waste Authority is to trial processing commercial waste through resource recovery facilities designed to cater for municipal solid waste.
It will also launch a Strategic Waste Initiatives Scheme to help develop more waste processing infrastructure and establish best practise outcomes and an associated incentive scheme – at a cost of $6.4 million in the first year.
A key part of the Waste Authority’s strategy released in March was increasing the rate of construction and demolition waste diverted from landfill from 29 per cent to 60 per cent by 2014/15.
But Mr Marmion has put this target on hold while a review is completed on potential dangers of recycling waste potentially contaminated with asbestos.
He also noted that any changes to the landfill levy would be subject to the outcome of the Landfill Regulatory Review, which was being undertaken by the Department of Environment and Conservation.