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West Australians send more rubbish to landfill than the rest of the nation

West Australians generate more waste and recycle less than the rest of the nation, a government report reveals.

While Canberrans sent just 579kg a head to landfill in 2006-07, West Australians binned a whopping 1680kg each.

The national average is 1003kg, with South Australia and Victoria tossing just under 800kg a head.

The Environment Protection and Heritage Council's 2010 National Waste Report said the ACT had a ``highly educated populace who have good levels of household recycling awareness and practice''.

But it said WA hurled most of its construction and demolition waste into landfill rather than recycling it like other states.

Only 17 per cent of construction waste is recycled in WA, compared with the national average of 58 per cent and the ACT's 91 per cent.

And while a 300 per cent increase in landfill levies introduced in the Perth metropolitan area on January 1 was intended to fix the problem, recent data showed rural and regional West Aussies continue to let the team down.

Industry experts say private operators aren't helping the situation by offering cheaper landfill alternatives.

Opposition environment spokeswoman Sally Talbot said it was time the Government acted on WA's waste shame.

A key document detailing policies and strategic direction for waste management in WA has been awaiting approval by Environment Minister Donna Faragher since April.

And while a 300 per cent increase in landfill levies - introduced only in the Perth metropolitan area on January 1 - was intended to fix the problem, recent data shows rural and regional West Australians continue to let the team down.

Industry experts say private operators aren't helping the situation by offering cheaper landfill alternatives.

Opposition environment spokeswoman Sally Talbot said it was time the Government did something about WA's waste shame.

A key document, detailing policies and strategic direction for waste management in WA, has been awaiting approval by environment Minister Donna Faragher since April.

``The final draft of the Waste Strategy has been sitting on Minister Faragher's desk for more than eight months because of internal bickering among Ministers about the future of the Waste Authority,'' Dr Talbot said.

``We've had more than ten years of government and public debate about how to get control of waste and recycling issues in WA. It is now time for some action.''

``In 2007 WA was set to have the world's best practice system that would have moved us towards the goal of zero waste to landfill by 2020.''

``Sadly the Barnett Government has let more than two years slip by without doing anything to help what would have been a wholly achievable target.''

Environment Minister Donna Faragher's office did not return calls on the issue.

In the survey period, 5.2 million tonnes of waste was generated in WA.

Of that, 33 per cent was recycled and the rest went to landfill.

The National Waste report is compiled every three years and does not include gaseous, liquid or radioactive waste.

Source: Sunday Times - http://www.perthnow.com.au


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