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March 16, 2010

Inside Waste WeeklyInside Waste Weekly

Rann’s plan to cut SA waste

In the lead up to South Australia’s March 20 election, Premier Mike Rann has outlined how he plans to achieve the target of reducing waste disposal to landfill 25% by 2014. A major part of the four year waste and recycling policy, which was announced last week, is the state-wide roll out of a food scraps recycling program.

In early 2008 councils across SA were invited to participate in a food waste trial with an aim to recycle household food waste into compost. Ten councils, covering about 17,000 households, participated and more than 30% of food waste was diverted from landfill in the trial group.

“Given the success of the trial, the government will roll out food waste collection across the state, commencing in 2010,” states Rann’s policy, with $6.1 million committed to expanding the scheme, giving households benchtop bins to collect food waste which can then put into green council bins for collection.

Rann’s recycling policy also offers $7.3 million for new waste infrastructure, including recycling depots to sort and separate recyclable materials, and $1.6 million towards helping businesses reduce commercial and industrial waste.

Rann said the, "are designed to make it easier to dispose of more old goods properly”.

“Since 2002, we have reduced waste going to landfill by 14.4% despite our state’s increasing population. And by doubling the refund amount under our container deposit scheme, still the only one in Australia, we saw an additional 76.8 million drink containers that would otherwise have gone to landfill returned in the first full year.”

According to SA Environment Minister Jay Weatherill, the new initiatives will spur jobs growth in the sector, particularly in entry level positions, because recycling is more labour intensive than simply dumping waste.

Rann’s other waste commitments include:
• $160,000 to keep the state’s e-waste scheme running until a national system is established in 2011. The government estimates 150 tonnes of e-waste per year can be collected and recycled;
• $1.6 million to extend the Resource Efficiency Assistance Program (REAP) so that it reaches up to 150 sites and 60 companies per year;
• $2.8 million to fund council collections of hazardous waste so a minimum of 16 collections will occur across the state each year for the next four years, as well as continuing the Dry Creek operation;
• $100,000 in 2010/11 to equip 10 retailers across metropolitan Adelaide to enable them to receive used fluoro globes as part of the Commonwealth Government’s voluntary “Fluorocycle” scheme, which aims to recycle the majority of commercial mercury-containing lighting.


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