Overwhelming community support of 98 per cent in favour of action to reduce the impacts of single-use plastics, has resulted in the release of WA’s Plan for Plastics.
Five new high-speed container refund points running in conjunction with Western Australia’s new Container Deposit Scheme – Containers for Change has been launched by TOMRA Collection Services. The scheme is expected to generate approximately 500 new jobs to Western Australia.
The launch of Containers for Change in Western Australia yesterday revealed at least 200 refund points statewide.
A week after the Federal Minister for Waste, Trevor Evans visited the controversial Tyremil facility in Queensland, the West Australian government has issued a warning over a used tyre dumping scam that results in victims being thousands of dollars out of pocket and thousands of used tyres illegally dumped.
According to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) which is managing the investigation, the scam targets tyre retailers and vehicle wrecking yards in Perth, with the offender promising to dispose of worn-out tyres substantially cheaper than legitimate tyre recyclers.
The offender dumps the scrap tyres at properties they have leased. These have included storage lockers, vacant land lots and back yards of rented homes. The offender then abandons the property, leaving the owner with the problem – and cost – of disposing of the tyres. For one property owner this has resulted in a disposal bill of more than $100,000. The advice for tyre retailers and vehicle wreckers is to check that any contractor hired to dispose of their used tyres is legitimate.
Businesses need to be careful
Allowing used tyres to be transported by unauthorised operators is an offence under the Environmental Protection (Controlled Waste) Regulations 2004 attracting a penalty of up to $25,000.
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, senior manager of Waste Operations Matt Warnock, said business should tread carefully when it comes to tyre disposal.
“Businesses disposing of used tyres have a legal responsibility to ensure that any contractor who transports their used tyres is licensed to do so,” Warnock said.
“Used tyres pose an environmental pollution risk mainly due the potential discharges and emissions from tyre fires.
“If an operator’s price seems too good to be true, you can check whether they are licensed with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. The unauthorised transport of a controlled waste and abandonment of waste are serious offences. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (Section 49A), abandoning waste carries a maximum penalty of $62,500 for an individual and $125,000 for a body corporate for each offence.
Property owners and agents are reminded to perform due diligence before leasing a property and ensure regular inspections are carried out on properties to ensure illegal activities are not taking place.
This investigation is being managed by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
Consumer Protection Commissioner Lanie Chopping encouraged landlords and property managers to carry out thorough checks of prospective tenants, as well as regular inspections of the property during the lease.
“Four property inspections a year are allowed for residential tenancies after giving at least seven days’ notice, so landlords should consider scheduling an inspection soon after a new tenant moves in,” Chopping said.
“I have issued bulletins today to landlords, and vehicle repairers and sellers, to warn them about the tyre dumping issue and how they can play their part in preventing this activity.”
Illegal dumping can be reported to DWER’s Pollution Watch Hotline on 1300 784 782 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local food retailers and restaurants in the WA City of Cockburn are encouraged to apply to join the first free commercial food waste trial in Western Australia.
The Western Australian Waste Authority has considered and approved revised position statements on the Waste Hierarchy and Waste to Energy after they were first released in 2013. The statements includes both thermal and non-thermal treatment.
The WA government’s commitment of $20 million to boost the states capacity for local processing of waste plastic and tyres came just a day after the federal government released details of its Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF).
Philip Helberg will become Western Australia’s new Infrastructure WA CEO. He was formerly Department of Finance deputy director general and replaces Lance Glare who had been acting CEO since August 2019.
Western Australia’s container deposit scheme will now commence on October 1, after a delay due to COVID-19 with funding available from June 2 until scheme commencement.
A local recycler and supplier of battery materials is testing metal dust from old household batteries for use as crop nutrient supplements.